Double success for Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King at the 2016 Publican Awards

Hungry Horse, one of the brands within Greene King's managed pubs business.

Hungry Horse, one of the brands within Greene King's managed pubs business. - Credit: Archant

Pubs and brewing group Greene King was a double winner at 2016 Publican Awards.

The Bury St Edmunds-based group was named best managed pubs operator, in the category for companies with more than 50 sites.

And Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand won the business leader of the year accolade, after overseeing the company’s multi-million-pound acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company.

Greene King, which as a result of the Spirit deal is now the UK’s biggest owner of retail (directly managed) pubs, was recognised in areas including its food offering, its commitment to training, its local charity initiatives and its diverse portfolio of brands, which include Hungry Horse, Chef & Brewer, Farmhouse Inns and Flaming Grill.

Ed Bedington, editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “Greene King is a great example of how size doesn’t have to mean sacrificing innovation and the ability of the business to allow managers at the local level to retain independence over their own operations is to be applauded.

“Within premium operations, it was also great to see such a large business investing to ensure produce and ingredients were fresh and locally sourced, adding real depth to the menus of those outlets.”

Mr Anand said: “This award is a testament to our 42,000 team members – recognition for the great job they are doing serving our guests in pubs up and down the country.

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“The Publican Awards are an industry benchmark and competition is always fierce, so winning Best Managed Operator is something we are really proud of.

“Here at Greene King, we work hard to ensure that our managed pubs, restaurants and hotels consistently deliver innovation, value and great service for our guests and it is great that our efforts have been recognised by the judges.”

Greene King’s Pub Partners division was also among the finalists for the best large tenanted and leased operator award.