The ALMR Operations Managers Awards shine a spotlight on this talented level of management and celebrate the individual and collective success revealed. Entrants to the competition progress through a rigorous and stimulating series of challenges that assess their skill and contribute to their professional development.

Operations managers with multi site responsibilities are the vital link between the strategy and resources of head office and the individual pubs, bars and restaurants where the customers are cherished and profits made.

There are two categories – one for Area Managers from a managed pub company and the other for Business Development Managers who work with a leased/tenanted pub company, and there are discrete Entry Papers for each; so please ensure you have the correct version before starting!

To nominate an individual click the link at the top of the page. These Awards are great for the individuals, important for their companies and vital for the industry’s reputation and progress.

I look forward to seeing your nominees in the final stages.


A sneak peek inside the ALMR MasterClass



To be crowned as the very best Operations Manager, in either category, will require you to be not just an excellent leader, you will have to demonstrate your skills and attributes to the judges, the field judges, the tutors and your peers.


The Operations Managers Awards Ceremony

Monday 6th November @London’s Pullman Hotel

The 22nd year of the ALMR Operations Managers Awards sees the Awards Ceremony, where the winners are announced after a gruelling seven months of competition are announced, move to an even bigger venue – at London’s Pullman hotel on Monday 6th November.


Dependent on how far you proceed, there are up to seven stages to the Awards:


An Entry Paper – one for BDMs and one for AMs – should be completed within one month of nomination and with a final deadline [for late entries] of 31 July 2017. This paper is available on the Awards website now; it will seek written answers to express entrants’ understanding of the industry and to describe their contribution to the commercial success of the pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants for which they are responsible.

Judging of the Entry Papers will reduce the number of candidates to a maximum of 20 to attend the MasterClass on 23 – 25 October and the Finalists’ interviews on 6 November 2017.


All Finalists will complete an online psychometric profile on work-attitude and motivation – (iWAM). The profile will include a one-to-one review for each Finalist with an independent coach during the Awards process. This development programme will also assist team dynamics at the MasterClass. It is important to note that an abridged version of the iWAM profile will be made available to line managers within 28 days of the individuals having received their own feedback.


All Finalists will be assessed in their normal day-to-day activities by one of our Mentor Judges who will contact each finalist and arrange a suitable time to “shadow” the finalist on a normal business day. The field judging will take place from August to mid-October 2017.


Taking place from Monday 23 October through to Wednesday 25 October, this is a stand-alone bespoke programme that includes top-level insights into leadership, strategic thinking, change management and ‘business in society’. Whilst there is no cost to enter the Ops Awards Competition, the MasterClass requires a financial contribution of £2295.

Finalists are encouraged to take the day after MasterClass as the opportunity to reflect on the learning outcomes of the MasterClass and the experience of the whole Ops Awards.


All Finalists will assemble for the Finals Judging day on 6 November at a central London venue where each finalist will be interviewed by two separate judging panels. Each panel will focus on a different aspect – ‘Business’ and ‘People’ – of the role of an Operations Manager.

The judging panels will include senior executives from retail operators and each panel will be chaired by one of the Mentor Judges.


The Finalists are invited to attend the Awards event and dinner which takes place in the evening immediately after the Finals Judging on 6 November. It is hoped that companies will support their Finalists by also attending this event.


The winning BDM and Area Manager will each receive a trophy in recognition of their success. There is an opportunity for the judges to recognise an individual with the “Rising Star” award. This Award focuses on an outstanding Finalist who is likely to be new to managing multiple retail outlets within the industry.


At every stage the Mentor Judges will offer personal feedback to all entrants. The Finalists can each receive a one-to-one review to take place after the Awards announcement at a time and place to be agreed.



 Many of these individuals have continued the development of themselves and the businesses they work within since winning the ALMR Operations Managers Awards.

Simon Longbottom – Mill House Inns
(sole winner in inaugural year)

Gary Allen – Shepherd Neame
Graeme Marley – Vanguard

John Barclay – Greene King Pub Co
Jane Wilson – Pubmaster

Phil Triggs – S&N Retail (Chef & Brewer)
Dave Ingham – Whitbread Pub Partners

Kate Acton – Whitbread Pub & Bar
Guy Arnold – Enterprise Inns

Paul Marsh – Wizard
Lynda Read – Greene King Pub Partners

Julie Wright – Laurel
Tina Cogan – Enterprise Inns

Rachid Noui – Massive
Mike Mannion – Greene King Pub Partners
Michelle Scrimgeour* – Laurel

Hugh Moloney – Greene King Pub Co
David Daniel – Punch Taverns
Anthony Ringer* – Punch Taverns

John Pettit – Greene King Pub Co
Rohan Miller – Greene King Pub Partners
Tim Marsh* – Massive Pub Co

Jo Probert – Orchid Group
Joe Smith – Enterprise Inns
Simeon Baker* – Punch Taverns

Helen Cook – Novus Leisure
Jim Owthwaite – Punch Taverns
Amber Wood* – Novus Leisure

Anthony Davies – McMullen & Sons
Carolyn Matthews – Daniel Thwaites
Daniel Wilkinson* – Greene King Pub Partners

Virge Balthazard – McMullen & Sons
Julian Mobbs – Marston’s Pub Co
Ross Palmer* – Novus Leisure

Donny McIntyre – Spirit Pub Co
Heike Funke – Punch Taverns
Rob Summers** – Punch Taverns
Benjamin Smith* – Charles Wells Pub Co

Will Fotheringham – JD Wetherspoon
Barrie Robinson – Greene King Pub Partners
Helen McKenna* – Enterprise Inns

Menesh Modhwadia – New Inventive Pub Co
Darren King Greene – King Pub Partners
Matthew Dyson* – Star Pubs and Bars

Martha Ingham – Mitchells & Butlers
Caren Geering – Admiral Taverns
David Bigio* – Thwaites



CPL Training
The CPL Training Group is proud to support the Operations Managers Awards. The Awards process showcases the cream of the industry, enables the sharing of best-practice and creates a standard of excellence for others to aspire to.

Daniel Davies, CEO of the CPL Training Group said: “We have sponsored the Operations Managers Awards for four years because it is recognised as the benchmark of industry excellence.”

Phone: 0151 650 6910
Web: http://www.cpltraining.co.uk/


Enterprise Inns
First class operations managers are at the very heart of our business and we are delighted to support the ALMR’s recognition of them. Their role in ensuring operators run successful businesses is sometimes ignored, yet the best ops managers have an unrivalled passion and understanding of the sector which deserves to be recognised and rewarded.

Phone: 0121 733 7700
Web: http://www.enterpriseinns.com/


Everards are very proud to support the ALMR Operations Managers Awards. Attracting, retaining and developing our industry’s finest talent not only supports the industry today but provides a high quality foundation for tomorrow’s leaders.

Phone: 0116 201 4100
Web: http://www.everards.co.uk/

GK Nov 13 Logo

Greene King

Phone: 01284 763 222
Web: http://www.greeneking.co.uk/

Welcome to the ALMR Ops Awards – BOOK YOUR PLACE

J D Wetherspoon
We were very pleased to see one of our own Area Manager’s win in our first year of entering the ALMR Operations Managers Awards. Just like these Awards we, at JD Wetherspoon, truly appreciate the vast skill set needed to be a successful Operations Manager and we are delighted to become a Patron of the Awards and look forward to them playing an integral part in the development of our own Ops Managers.

Phone: 01923 477 777
Web: http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/


Novus Leisure
Novus Leisure has been fully engaged in these Awards for a number of years and is proud to have had some winners. The individuals going thorough the competition and attending the MasterClass get a huge amount of strategic and leadership insight and this spins off to the direct benefit of the company. The OpsAwards are good for the individuals, for their organisations and for the industry as a whole.

Phone: 0207 968 2400
Web: http://www.novusleisure.com/


Punch Taverns
The ALMR Operations Managers Awards have a positive impact on those that attend whether it be from a developmental perspective or an opportunity to network and share experiences with talented people or purely offering time to reflect. Punch Taverns are pleased to continue its sponsorship of the Awards.

Phone: 01283 501 999
Web: http://www.punchtaverns.com


Star Pubs & Bars
The Operations Managers Awards have long been part of the development process used by Star Pubs & Bars to reward and highlight the talent we have within the Operation team. We are delighted that these Awards raise the recognition of how important the best Ops Managers are to the success of the businesses they work with are we are very pleased to support them

Phone: 0131 528 2700
Web: http://www.starpubs.co.uk


We work with hundreds of Operations Managers on a daily basis and appreciate how vital they are in creating the great venues we all want to visit. With excellent operations comes strong business performance. Venners are enormously proud to support these Awards because achieving excellence in operations and business is at the heart of everything we do.

Phone: 01279 620 820
Web: http://www.venners.co.uk/



This event really should be attended by any company with an operations team. The Awards are the specific recognition of the skill, endeavour and enthusiasm of those who daily lead and support their managed or leased estates to deliver individual and corporate business success This is the opportunity for the industry to applaud these individuals in particular and the teams that they work with.


An evening of unrivalled networking with your peer group as board directors, senior executives, ops managers and lots of supporters share the room waiting to hear the announcement of the winners of the 2017 Operations Managers Awards.


Please fill out your details below and we will be in touch for your payment. Please ensure that you check all details of your booking before submitting as it is these details we will use for invoicing and contacting you for the details of your guest(s).

  • Price: £ 1,290.00


  • Price: £ 145.00


“These are such amazing Awards, we are very privileged to be apart of an industry that has such talent and professionalism at it’s core”

Nick Bish – ALMR


Your entry paper should consist of no more than 15 pages inc. attachments and a font size of no less than 12pt should be used.

The answers should be concise and in note form where appropriate.
The weighting of marks is shown with each question – you should allocate time accordingly.
All information contained in your answers will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
The Entry Paper must be completed within 28 days from the date the Entry Paper was sent to you.


If you wish to save the form half way through please scroll to the bottom and click on “Save and Continue Later” This will give you a personal URL to complete the form on the website, you can also email this to yourself so you don’t forget it and can access your entry anywhere.

We highly suggest you keep a local copy of your answers in word or similar and then copy and paste your answers here.


If you wish to save the form half way through please scroll to the bottom and click on “Save and Continue Later” This will give you a personal URL to complete the form on the website, you can also email this to yourself so you don’t forget it and can access your entry anywhere.

We highly suggest you keep a local copy of your answers in word or similar and then copy and paste your answers here.

  • General Notes

    • The answers should be concise and in note form where appropriate.
    • The weighting of marks is shown with each question – your responses should reflect the weighting in terms of content and length.
    • All information contained in your answers will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
  • SECTION 1 – Operations

    (answer both questions)
  • 5 MARKS
    Describe the area/region for which you are responsible including the number, type and general market positioning of the outlets, and provide an indication of your area’s financial performance against target and against last year.
  • 15 MARKS
    Describe the top 3 operational challenges that you currently face and describe the actions that you have taken in the last 12 months that have been the most effective for your business. [Exclude ‘recruitment’ which must be answered in Q2a below.]
  • SECTION 2 – Talent and Skills

    (answer all four questions)

    The following are real issues for field-based operations managers. Describe the challenges as they appear to you and the strategies you have devised to overcome them.

  • 15 MARKS
    Recruitment and retention of good tenants/lessees is vital to the success of any outlet. What challenges are you facing in getting and retaining good people and what action do you take to improve their skills. What are you doing personally to be better than your competitors in this area?
  • 10 MARKS
    Outline a successful re-development/capital investment that you have been responsible for in the last 18 months. Please explain the rationale for the development, the pre and post financials and detail your personal involvement in the project. [If you have NOT been responsible for a capital project contact nbish@almr.org.uk for the alternative question.]
  • 5 MARKS
    Thinking beyond the premises, how do you advise and guide your tenants/lessees on how to use digital media and internet consumer feedback sites to manage and promote the business to attract customers and ensure afterwards that they had a great experience? Your answer should include how the effectiveness of e-marketing is measured and monitored. Please include an example of how you yourself have been involved in this.
  • 10 MARKS
    The legislation for the MRO option is now law and the details will be finalised in the coming months. Managing its implementation and/or managing the effects on your business will be another challenge for you. What impact do you envisage MRO will have on your working relationship and practices with your lessees and tenants and how will you manage the change?
  • SECTION 3 – Business Performance and Development

    (answer both questions)
  • 10 MARKS
    Today's consumers are more demanding in their expectations when visiting outlets. How do you help your managers identify and understand the priorities of your existing and potential core customers? How do you help them develop effective retailing standards and monitor progress against their plan? Please give an example of success in this area.
  • 10 MARKS
    Outlets are facing increasing legal requirements and compliance costs in connection with responsible retailing, eg: ‘scores on the doors’, immigration controls, late night levies, pressure to breathalyse customers and the requirement to have allergen information available. How do you work with your licensees to help them to comply with the law and the expectations of the enforcement authorities? Give some examples of where you have made a difference.
  • SECTION 4 - Personal

    (answer both questions)
  • 10 MARKS
    As a leader, what personal qualities and skills do you use to get the best from your licensees?
  • 10 MARKS
    What have you done over the last 12 months to develop your own business skills and to apply them?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


AMentry-pdf        BDMentry-pdf       rules

Throughout all the elements of the competition the judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding success against sales and profit criteria and particularly in the context of: –

Business Skills, Financial Management, Administration
Business planning – Sales & volume growth – Health, safety & hygiene
Licensee recruitment – Purchasing & gross margins – Licensing law & procedures
Staff retention & development – Cost control & profit protection – CSR
Marketing and sales promotion – Accountancy – Employment law
Use of electronic media – Capital investment – Property standards
Product knowledge & Customer service

Finalists at the MasterClass will have every opportunity to project their own personality and demonstrate their qualities of leadership and teamwork, innovation and diligence but it is not itself part of the Competition.

Get in touch


 +44 20 3286 7155