Landlord in running to be best bar none

Tim Tomlinson.
Tim Tomlinson.
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A well-known Lancaster landlord has been shortlisted for the pub industry’s most coveted award.

Tim Tomlinson, licensee at The Merchants 1688 and The White Cross, is one of six finalists for the British Institute of Innkeeping Licensee of the Year Award.

This year celebrates the 30th Licensee of the Year, which recognises the country’s highest performing licensees, who have passion for the trade.

Judging is based on the finalists’ ability to display business acumen, operational skills, outstanding customer service standards and the ability to be innovative in the market.

Tim underwent four intensive interview panels covering finance, people and training, marketing and business development and general industry issues.

Over the years Tim, who is also chairman of the local Pubwatch, has transformed the Merchants 1688 from a cheap and cheerful student pub to a venue that is known for its cask ales, top class food offering, fine wines and craft beers.

He said: “I have been in the trade for ten years, but this process has challenged me by making me think about how I can make the venue even better; it’s an opportunity to stand back and see what we need to do to continue taking the business forward.

“At the Merchants 1688, we have a passion to keep everyone happy and I truly believe that is the key to success. My business is an underground wine cellar, it’s in rather unique surroundings, but that alone is not enough. Every interaction must be great, service is essential to making my business a success and stand out from the competitors.”

The winner will be announced at an event in London on June 2.