The awards, held at London’s Café de Paris, celebrate those who have demonstrated training excellence and innovation in the licensed retail sector.
A rigorous judging process consisted of an in-depth award submission, followed by a presentation and interviews in front of a panel of industry experts. Punch came up against strong opposition, overcoming both Marston’s and Thwaites to claim the accolade.
Over the last 17 months, 470 Punch publicans and 141 of its managers have attended and completed the Art of the Possible programme in full. The training course comprises four modules — retailing excellence, go for growth, path to profit and passion for people — designed to support publicans, to engage their teams and increase the profitability of their pubs.
The annual like-for-like operating profit for the pubs that have completed Art of the Possible has been significantly higher than benchmark pubs, and the tailor-made training programme has elicited effusive praise and widespread endorsement from publicans and Punch team members alike.
Steve Dando, interim chief executive at Punch, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition, particularly against such stiff competition. At Punch we are committed to helping our publicans grow their businesses and Art of the Possible has demonstrated the genuine value that Publicans derive from the programme and their motivation to make continual and tangible improvements to their business.
“We are enormously proud of the programme and the feedback we have received. Well done to all involved!”