BII Licensee of the Year 2013 to mentor fellow publicans

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

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Ashley and Kelly McCarthy, winners of the Licensee of the Year Award 2013, with the BII's Tim Hulme
Ashley and Kelly McCarthy, winners of the Licensee of the Year Award 2013, with the BII's Tim Hulme
Ashley and Kelly McCarthy, co-owners of the freehold of the Ye Old Sun Inn in North Yorkshire and winners of the prestigious BII Licensee of the Year Award 2013, will be sharing the secrets of their success with fellow publicans as part of the BII’s ‘Business Mentor’ scheme, which gives its members expert advice on running pubs.

The McCarthy’s join a 45-strong team of BII mentors, offering first-hand advice and guidance to new and established licensees on a range of subjects; from trusted suppliers to acquiring funding, opening a new pub to staff training, or help on the path to becoming a multiple pub operator.

Tim Hulme, chief executive of the BII, said: “Unsurprisingly the BII Business Mentor initiative is one of our most highly valued member benefits, especially among freehouse licensees who sometimes feel quite isolated without the support of a managed or tenanted pub company.

“All of our mentors are hugely experienced professionals who bring masses of enthusiasm and great ideas, helping new licensees get off on the right foot, as well as problem-solving or providing support to established, successful businesses keen to develop and expand.

“Our mentors provide solid, workable solutions, face-to-face whenever possible, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Mentees have reported increased profits, happier customers, more motivated staff and in some cases mentors have ‘saved their business’. We’re delighted to have Ashley and Kelly on board.”

Award winners

Husband-and-wife team Ashley and Kelly collected their coveted award at the annual British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) lunch which was held at Grosvenor House in London earlier this year. Shortly after, they gave us their own top tips for fellow licensees.

Speaking of their new roles within the BII, Ashley said: “From day one of our BII membership we have always made a point of networking, asking other publicans for their advice and direction on how they do things well, and we’ve got so much out of doing that.

“The mentoring scheme makes that kind of advice easily accessible for all BII members. We’re happy to help where we can, passing on our knowledge based on our experience.”

New direction

The roll-out is part of a new, improved BII membership package which currently includes buying group discounts with savings of up to 25 per cent and BII expert helplines that offer free advice on topics including licensing, HR and employment, property, legal and financial support.

“The initiative is part of our on-going plans to reshape the BII and provide relevant, valuable business advice and support to our members,” added Hulme.

BII members also have access to training courses and e-learning, the monthly BII Business magazine and monthly e-news, help with managing finances including an easy-to-use budget duty change calculator and apprenticeship schemes.

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