Search begins for Northern Ireland’s Hospitality Stars

Hospitality Ulster Launches the Pub of the Year Awards 2016

The search to discover Northern Ireland’s best pubs, hotels and restaurants is now on, as Hospitality Ulster launches its annual Pub of the Year Awards for 2016.

A total of thirteen Awards will showcase the toast of the Northern Ireland hospitality industry. To further widen the scope of the Awards for 2016, Hospitality Ulster has introduced a new Food & Beverage Manager of the Year Award to the 2016 line-up, which is open to entrants from pubs, restaurants and hotels.

Three Pub of the Year Awards are up for grabs, recognising the best pubs and bars in rural, urban and city locations across Northern Ireland.

This year’s Awards will once again recognise the growing importance of locally sourced food in pubs, hotels and restaurants, through three Commitment to Local Food Awards (in partnership with Food NI). A Commitment to the Community Award will recognise immense contribution hospitality businesses make within their local communities. And in the Hotel Bar of the Year category, there will be two Awards: Hotel Bar of the Year (1* – 3*) and Hotel Bar of the Year (4* – 5*).

The 2016 Awards will look to the future, recognising up and coming talent with Hospitality Ulster’s Rising Star Award (in partnership with Ulster University), as well as paying tribute to those that have played a role in shaping the industry with a special Industry Legend Award (in partnership with Hospitality Review NI).

One Award category will invite nominations from the general public. People can nominate their favourite barperson through The Sunday Life, which is joining forces with Hospitality Ulster once again to search for Northern Ireland’s Barperson of the Year.

All submitted Award entries, along with public nominations for the Barperson of the Year and the Industry Legend Awards will be vetted and judged by an independent judging panel comprised of industry experts, before being mystery shopped to ensure they meet industry standards and best practice guidelines.

Commenting on the Pub of the Year Awards 2016, Olga Walls, chair of Hospitality Ulster, said:

“As our Hospitality industry continues to grow and diversify, so too does the breadth and reach of Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards. With each year, we have introduced new award categories to recognise not just our fantastic local pubs and bars, but also our amazing restaurants and world class hotels.

Whilst our three ‘Pub of the Year Awards’ – recognising best in class urban, city and rural pubs – remain a very important part of our celebrations this year, it is also important we recognise the diverse range of businesses that make up the Northern Ireland hospitality industry

“I would encourage all pubs, hotels and restaurants to get involved and enter this year’s Awards as we strive to celebrate the real heroes of Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry and make the Pub of the Year Awards 2016 the best yet.”

The Pub of the Year Awards moves to a new venue for 2016. On Wednesday 16th November, hundreds of publicans and restaurateurs from across Northern Ireland will gather in the Ramada Plaza at Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast to toast Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry.

The Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards. This year’s Awards are supported by Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Drinks Inc., Henderson Foods, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, United Wine Merchants, and media partners, Sunday Life, Hospitality Review NI and U105.

The closing date for entries for Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2016 is Wednesday 14th September 2016. A final shortlist will be announced by the end of October, revealing the premises shortlisted in each Award.

For further information about the Pub of the Year Awards and to enter online, visit

Keep up to date with all the Pub of the Year Awards 2016 news on the Hospitality Ulster Twitter @HospUlster and Facebook using the hashtag, #NIPubAwards