The Publican Awards 2019 took place on Tuesday 12th, with 1,400 people in attendance to honour some of the best businesses in the hospitality sector. The event took place at Battersea Evolution in London and was hosted by comedian Alan Carr.

Stonegate was the big winner, winning five of the categories including Business Leader of the Year for their boss, Simon Longbottom.

They were celebrating after taking the titles of Best Community Pub Operator, Best Pub Employer (501+ employees) and Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites). On top of this, its recent acquisition, Be At One took home the title of Best Drinks Offer.

On receiving the Best Community Pub Operator award, a spokesperson for the company said:

“It feels fantastic to win the award as we’ve put a lot of hard work into it. More so, we’ve got a fantastic team back at Stonegate – this award is dedicated to their hard work.”

Other big winners on the night include Fuller, Smith & Turner, who took home the titles of Best Accommodation Operator and Best Pub Operations Team.

Their spokesperson said: “This reward recognises the hard work our chefs put it in week in, week out. I’d like to mention, specifically, that it’s because of our hard-working chefs that we’re stood here today picking up this award.”

Other winners on the night included Manchester brewers JW Lees, which took home the title of Best Brewing Pub Company and nightclub specialists Deltic, which took the title of Best Late Night Operator.

The award for Outstanding Industry Contribution, went to Greene Kings outgoing chief executive Rooney Anand. He has been praised for his 18 years in the business and his commitment to training and hard work in taking Greene King forward to being one of the leading players in the pub sector.

Sky, the headline sponsor, took the opportunity to discuss the vital need for the industry to look at its environmental responsibilities. The company has recently launched it’s Sky Ocean Rescue mission, and used its platform at the awards to urge the sector to do more to reduce plastic and save our oceans. This focus also inspired new award for this year’s competition, the Best Sustainable Pub Company, which was won by Darwin & Wallace who impressed the judges with its green credentials.

Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “This event is always a pleasure to host, and we’re delighted to be able to recognise some of the great businesses that work in our sector. Congratulations to Stonegate, who’ve done exceptionally well this year across a range of categories. They’re a great example of a business that despite growing considerably in scale, haven’t lost sight of the core principles of what makes its operation so successful – people and pubs. These awards are not easy to win, and simply getting to the finals is quite an achievement with a robust judging process that really puts our finalists and winners through their paces. Judging these awards is a real privilege and it’s reassuring to see some of the great work that is going on in the industry, I’d like to congratulate all our finalists and winners.”