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Here you can find licensed trade news and updates, the weekly e-newsletter INNfocus, past editions of the BII News (our quarterly magazine), and hear all about our latest industry campaigns.

The Tips Bill receives Royal Assent

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill 2023, otherwise known as ‘The Tips Bill’ was given Royal Assent at the beginning of this month, meaning that thousands of workers could be set to receive a higher take home wage, especially within the hospitality sector. 

What Does the Act Mean?
The act creates new legal obligations for employers who will be required to fairly allocate tips over which they exercise control or significant influence and pay them to workers in full, within a month of the payment being made by the customer. 

Where tips are paid on more than an occasional and exceptional basis, the employer will also be required to have a written policy, available to all workers, that sets out how qualifying tips are dealt with. This bill will therefore make it unlawful for service charges to be held back from staff, however it is paid by the customer, ensuring that staff receive the tips that they have earned.

Maintaining Tip Records
The act goes further than just the allocation of tips, and now means that employers must maintain a record of qualifying tips and their allocation, which must be kept for 3 years. As staff will have the right to request this information, it may result in challenges about their employers’ practices increasing, which could result in a higher uptake of employment tribunal claims.

Staff will be allowed to raise a complaint to the employment tribunal within 12 months of the failure to comply with the new obligations, once they officially come into force and these rights also extend to agency workers, which could widen the scope for tribunal claims considerably.  

Code of Practice
The government is also expected to produce a Code of Practice to provide businesses and staff with advice on best practises on how tips should be allocated. This will be subject to formal consultation later on this year.

Whilst the act is expected to come into force around May 2024, the government is yet to set an official date. However now it has passed the final stage of approval, it will most certainly be coming into force at some point within the next year. 

Need More Help?
Should you require assistance with understanding your new obligations or drafting a policy to ensure that you remain legally compliant, then please get in touch at 
[email protected] or if you're a BII Member log in to receive support here

Pubs and restaurants struggle to remain optimistic with average energy costs up 80% on last year

New industry-wide data shows just 29% of hospitality businesses feel optimistic about the next 12 months, with energy their biggest concern, prompting an alliance of trade bodies to once again make a plea for Government to direct energy suppliers to offer fair rates.

The survey asked people running pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality businesses about their operations and prospects and highlighted how critical the energy crisis has become for the industry over the past year; with 86% of respondents concerned or very concerned about energy costs and the average bill now up by 81% since last year and three times more than in 2021.

Data collected by CGA Insight on behalf of the British Institute of Innkeeping, UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster showed businesses that were forced into long-term fixed rate contracts between July and September 2022, as energy prices continued to rise, felt the least optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months.

Of those businesses that locked into a contract at the peak of the energy crisis between July and September almost half (46%) felt their business was at risk of failure in the next 12 months, with 92% citing energy prices as a significant contributor to that risk. These businesses were also less likely to have cash reserves and almost half (46%) of all respondents had less than three months’ worth.

Responding to the data, BII, BBPA, UKHospitality and Hospitality Ulster are once again calling on Government to insist energy suppliers offer renegotiations to businesses locked into sky high contracts, or at least offer financial support to those at acute risk.
In a joint statement the trade bodies said:

"The energy crisis has been pushing pubs, bars and restaurants to breaking point for a year now. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme provided a short respite but with that falling away last month businesses are back to paying high costs, with no end in sight for the thousands locked into contracts who will be obligated to pay extortionate rates well into next year. 

"Put simply, this data is extremely worrying for thousands of otherwise viable hospitality businesses. No profits means nothing to invest back into businesses, no cash reserves means nothing to fall back on, and businesses being forced to close means important, irreplaceable assets being lost from local communities and economies across the country forever. The Government must recognise this crisis isn't just crippling businesses now. Left unresolved it will have a lasting wider impact long into the future, impacting local employment, supply chains and removing essential community hubs from villages, towns and cities across the whole of the UK.

"Suppliers must be instructed to offer renegotiation to businesses locked into long-term, high-cost contracts, whilst businesses on the brink should be offered direct, targeted support. The people running pubs, bars and restaurants in neighbourhoods across the UK want to remain there and provide the absolute best for their communities but feel they are fighting a losing battle, they need support now."

In addition to call for immediate action on energy costs, respondents to the survey also cited relief to VAT and wholesale reform to business rates as longer-term measures to support the industry and enable businesses to invest and grow. 


Find the survey results from BII Member respondents here.

Fordham pub opens new coffee shop to provide meeting place for local community

The opening of a new coffee shop at the Three Horseshoes in Fordham, Essex, is helping members of the local community get together. 

The pub was purchased by Moira Edwards just before the third Covid lockdown in 2020. Moira and her team like many pubs across the UK began to serve takeaway drinks and snacks to people living locally from an outdoor shed next to the pub. 

It soon became obvious that the coffee shop was needed as a permanent service for the local area offering affordable snacks and a place for people to meet. Fordham is a village six miles from Colchester, Halstead and Sudbury with limited transport and a lack of local services.

The new coffee shop called The Coffee Shed was opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.  

The Coffee Shed is now situated in a renovated building next to the pub and has seating with views over the Woodland Trust fields. 

It has extended its food offer from freshly made croissants and sausage rolls to include paninis, cro-buns, seasonal fruit, locally-made Temprd chocolate and old-fashioned sweets. It also offers freshly baked artisan sourdough, Sticky Pickle chutneys and pickles to takeaway.

The Coffee Shed also supports a wide range of other local suppliers including Dedham Vale honey, Fairfield Farm crisps, Colchester fresh fish and Anglia Produce. 
Moira said: “It’s an exciting time for us. We have so many visitors to The Coffee Shed in the mornings, so we wanted to create a comfortable welcoming space for our guests to enjoy their time with us. It’s become a popular destination for locals and dog-walkers, so it’s great to be able to create this new area and also expand the food offering.” 
Pub is The Hub regional advisor Jeremy English said: “The Coffee Shed is a great place for people to meet and socialise in a relaxed environment. 

“The Three Horseshoes is at the heart of the village offering a place for people to get together. It is a great example of a pub supporting people in the local community.”

The Coffee Shed is open five days a week Wednesday to Friday 10am-2pm and Saturday & Sunday 9am-2pm. The pub is also open five days a week and was recently awarded 2 rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide.

Pedalling 2 Pubs UK Edition 2023 - Pedalling, Pints, Pubs and People

Following the incredible success of the intrepid Pedalling for Pubs riders, who raised over £315k for industry charities, Only a Pavement Away and the Licensed Trade Charity by cycling across Sri Lanka last month, 50 UK riders are now on a mission to boost the total fundraising by another £50k!
The inaugural Pedalling 2 Pubs UK Edition will set off this summer, with 50 hospitality professionals cycling 240km across the idyllic Yorkshire Wolds countryside between the 9th -11th June 2023.


Led by ride organiser Steve Alton, CEO at the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), this impressive challenge will help the hospitality sector towards the revised goal of £400k, after the Sri Lankan crew smashed through the original £300k goal.
Commenting on the upcoming challenge, Steve Alton said “After taking part in last year’s inaugural Pedalling for Pubs ride across Jordan, I realised the only thing that was missing from such a fantastic fundraising initiative, was the opportunity to visit some great British pubs!”
“Thus, Pedalling 2 Pubs was born. It is a testament to the work undertaken by founder Katy Moses and the organisers of the flagship ride, that there is already so much excitement around the UK edition. We have already raised over £32k but we want to turn that into £50k by the time we ride into our last Yorkshire village.”


The riders will be stopping along the way to visit a host of great British pubs to keep them focussed as they tackle the hills and dales on their bikes. Supporters and partners for the ride include Punch Pubs, who will be fuelling the fundraisers on the Thursday night before they set off at the Cornerhouse in Beverley as well as hosting the team at The Buck Inn after their first day’s riding, where they will be cheered on by Minister Kevin Hollinrake in his local constituency. Marstons are also providing some welcome respite on the final evening, welcoming the weary riders to The Ship Inn at Bridlington with some much-needed refreshment.
Local brewers Theakston and alcohol free beer brand Lucky Saint will be ensuring the team are kept well hydrated. Lucky Saint alongside hospitality technology providers Zonal have also provided the riders with branded cycling jerseys and hoodies to highlight the cause they are championing to everyone who sees them on their three-day journey. 

The collaboration and support from across the sector, to raise money and awareness of these fantastic charities has been brilliant from all involved, so to find out more about the challenge or to donate, please follow this link: 

In celebration of World Refill Day (16th June), The Steel Keg Association Launches New Keg Champion Awards

The Steel Keg Association (SKA) is proud to announce the inaugural launch of the new ‘Keg Champion Awards’ to honour sustainability in the UK / Ireland hospitality industry and recognise breweries, pubs, bars and restaurants of all sizes for embracing the remarkable benefits REUSABLE steel kegs and casks deliver.


Stainless steel kegs’ and casks’ reusability and 30+ year lifespan make them the ideal circular choice for breweries, pubs, bars and restaurants.  The Steel Keg Association, a marketing-focused, non-profit organisation on a mission to help increase the volume of beer and other beverages served from REUSABLE steel kegs, has created the Keg Champion Awards as a light-hearted way to recognise hospitality leaders and the impact of steel kegs on the beverage industry.  Nominations are now open and close on 9th June.


Dan Vorlage, Executive Director of the Steel Keg Association and MicroStar Logistics’ VP of Global Marketing, comments: “Steel kegs and casks are the ultimate REUSABLE containers.   When choosing draft from steel kegs and casks you’re making the most sustainable choice and joining the effort to remove more than four billion single-use packages from recycling and landfill streams in the UK alone. Additionally, steel kegs deliver bulk liquids, driving critical economic benefits for pubs, bars and restaurants. And, of course, consumers appreciate the uniquely fresh draft beer experience they can’t get at home. Given all the good REUSABLE kegs and casks do, World Refill Day is the perfect time to celebrate all of the keg champions out there!” 


Any brewery, bar, pub or restaurant that serves draft beer is eligible to win.  To nominate a business (free of charge) click HERE before 9th June.  All nominated businesses will receive a Keg Champion recognition pack including back-of-house info posters, stickers and more (while supplies last) to help share the honour with their employees and customers.
From the nominated companies, the SKA will select UK/Ireland Keg Champion Award winners in seven categories:


1. National restaurant
2. Regional restaurant
3. Local restaurant
4. Large Brewery (500,000+ hl)
5. Mid-sized Brewery (10,001 – 500,000 hl)
6. Small Brewery (fewer than 10,000hl)
7. Draft innovation


Each winner will receive bragging rights and the coveted Green Keg (physically, the biggest award in the history of the hospitality industry).  The SKA will also donate £1,000 to the charity of each winner’s choice.  Winners will be announced on World Refill Day 16th June 2023, a global day of action to accelerate the transition towards refill and reuse systems like steel kegs and casks!


Natalie Fee, the Founder of City to Sea, the environmental not-for-profit who are behind World Refill Day added: “This is a chance to raise a glass to all the breweries, pubs and restaurants that are championing the most environmentally friendly way to drink beer and cider – through kegs and casks. Enjoying a drink in a reusable glass poured directly from a reusable keg or cask is not only delicious but is proven to be efficient, effective and affordable and it completely eradicates the need for single-use packaging.”


The first UK/Ireland Keg Champion Awards follows hard on the heels of the inaugural US Keg Champion Awards which recognised seven winners from over 2,000 nominations and were announced during Earth Week, commencing 17th April 2023.

BII Licensee of the Year 2023 Finalists Announced

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) is delighted to announce their six incredible finalists for this year’s Licensee of the Year Award (LOYA).

Sponsored by Sky, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK. 

Since the launch in January this year, licensee operators have been entering the competition, showing the judges evidence of how they have been building their businesses, teams and communities, with a focus on their resilience, sustainability and diversification. 

This year, the entries have been of a particularly high standard, making it even more difficult for our team of judges to decide who to take through to the finals. 

Selected from a field of over 300 entrants, our six finalists have been selected on the basis of their community impact, sustainability and diversification, exceptional mystery diner visits, financial and online audits and face-to-face interviews in their pubs with judges, Sue Allen and Ashley McCarthy.

The 2023 Licensee of the Year Award finalists are as follows: 

Samantha & Mark Robinson – Queens Head Hotel – LA23 1PW
Michelle Gilmour – The Old Windmill – CV1 3BA
Lee & Keris De Villiers – The Pig & Whistle – SW18 5LD
Ollie Coulombeau – The Turk’s Head – TW1 1LF
Joe Buckley & Flo Pearce – The Tollemache Arms – NN6 9NU
Tommy Fox – The Barrelman – DD1 2AJ

To learn more about our finalists, please visit our website: 

Steven Alton, BII CEO commented: "Our Licensee of the Year Award is the most prestigious & hard-fought award, showcasing the dedication and excellence in our sector. The final six are of an incredible standard.

“We are very proud that the awards offer a value-added experience to all those involved. Our finalists will have had the opportunity to evaluate their businesses at every stage, from mystery customer reports and judging visit feedback, right through to our final judging day at Sky HQ on Monday 19th June.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all involved and wish them the best of luck for the final stages of the competition."
All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on the 20th of June, where the winner of Licensee of the Year 2023 will be crowned.

The BII would like to thank everyone who has entered the competition this year. Keep your eyes peeled for another opportunity to enter in January 2024.

Consumers seek natural beverages to boost energy levels

Finlays has carried out new research showing the fundamental shifts in consumer drinking habits post-COVID, and which mega trends have survived the turbulence of the last few years

1. Consumer demand for natural and organic has accelerated: Consumers are drinking more natural and organic beverages compared to two years ago. It seems that these mainstream trends continue to grow in appeal and have not reached saturation point, with one in ten 25–35-year-olds further increasing
their already high consumption of natural and organic beverages.  “Consumers are seeking ‘clean label products’ such as those containing organic ingredients (18%), and free of artificial flavour or sweeteners (15%)”, Sian Edwards, Group Insights Manager at Finlays, explains.
“Beverage brand owners can tap into this trend by choosing ingredients that consumers perceive as naturally beneficial for their health, such as green tea, which contains naturally occurring antioxidants and catechins.” 

2. Boost for natural caffeine: This demand for natural beverages is driving major shifts in where consumers are looking for an energy boost. A third (33%) of Europeans are drinking more traditional sources of caffeine, such as tea and coffee, demonstrating the opportunity for these ingredients within the ‘clean energy’ movement.
“It’s really interesting to see, from our research, that consumers are as likely to drink tea for an energy boost, as they are to drink energy drinks” Edwards notes. “Supply shortages of synthetic caffeine from China, the world’s largest exporter, has driven demand for natural sources of caffeine from tea and coffee,” explains Edwards. “The ‘health halo’ around coffee and the rising interest in its health properties are paving the way for beverage brands to innovate. For example utilising
cold brew coffee, a natural source of caffeine, and quality tea extracts, rich in naturally-derived antioxidants, to provide additional benefits.”

3. ‘Hydration-Plus’ becomes major trend: Half of European consumers (48.4%) are drinking more water than they did pre-pandemic. But consumers are seeking more than just hydration, with one in five consumers (20.2%) looking for drinks with more than one benefit, increasing to nearly a quarter (24.1%) of consumers aged 35-55. However, brand owners have to balance this with the need for good-tasting products – 16.8% of consumers are looking for healthy drinks without compromising on flavour. “Great taste is a major factor in encouraging that repeat-purchase”, Edwards explains. 
She adds, “Consumers are looking for new ways to enjoy water with enhanced flavours and added benefits. Finlays’ new Just Add Water range of single-serve sachets, featuring cold water soluble tea and botanical powder blends, can meet the needs of consumers who want their water to work harder – provide hydration, exciting flavours and added benefits.” 

4. Functional beverages continue to gain momentum: Six in ten European consumers are more conscious of their physical health than pre-pandemic. “This is a major acceleration of the already well-established health and wellbeing trend,” Edwards explains, “and interestingly, this is even higher for older generations, demonstrating the broad appeal of products that tap into the health and wellbeing space.” 
Consumers are looking for a wide range of functional benefits from their beverages, including energy-boosting (34%), relaxation (22%) and mood-boosting (22.6%). “This shows the huge scope for innovation in the beverage industry, relating to both physical and mental wellbeing” Edwards adds.
“Tea and coffee are well-established with consumers as natural ingredients that can be positioned as energising or relaxing.”
5. Consumers willing to pay more for sustainability: Another major trend accelerated by the pandemic, over one in ten (13.3%) consumers have changed their drinking habits because they are more aware of the environmental impact of beverages, compared to before the pandemic. Consumers are looking for sustainably-sourced beverages with a minimal impact on the planet.
“Finlays Just Add Water sachets can save up to 99% of packaging volume vs plastic bottles so are ideal for those consumers who want to avoid single use plastic but don’t want to compromise on beverage taste and added benefits,” Edwards explains.  This trend is also a major value driver, as more than 75% of European consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. 

Edwards concludes “the staying-power of mega trends such as health and sustainability has been tested over the last few years, but consumers have only been more engaged in these trends since the pandemic. We’ve also seen some major shifts, as consumers look for a wider range of functional benefits delivered by natural ingredients such as tea and coffee. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, offering natural, sustainable products that tap into health trends, without compromising on taste, is essential to attract modern consumers who want it all.”

To find out how Finlays can support in unleashing the potential of natural beverages visit or email [email protected]

Why Should Pubs Become Laptop-Friendly & Welcome Remote Workers

Becoming laptop-friendly and allowing remote working in pubs can be a smart decision, as it can provide several benefits for both the pub and the remote workers. Here are some reasons why pubs should consider becoming laptop-friendly & allow remote working:

Increased customer satisfaction: By allowing customers to use their laptops, pubs can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Many people appreciate the opportunity to work or study in a relaxed and comfortable environment outside of their usual workspace, and pubs that cater to this need are more likely to attract and retain customers.

Potential for increased sales: Laptop users are often willing to spend more time in a pub, which means they may order more food and drinks than customers who only stay for a short period of time. Additionally, laptop users may be more likely to return to the pub, making them valuable repeat customers.

Adaptation to changing customer needs: In today's digital age, many people rely on their laptops and mobile devices for work, communication, and entertainment. By accommodating these needs, pubs can stay relevant and attract a wider range of customers.

Competitive advantage: In areas with many pubs, offering laptop-friendly amenities can set a pub apart from its competitors and attract a unique demographic of customers.

Increased foot traffic and revenue: Remote workers may stay in the pub for an extended period of time, which can increase the foot traffic and revenue for the pub. This can be especially beneficial during off-peak hours when the pub may not be as busy.

Diversified customer base: By catering to remote workers, pubs can attract a more diverse customer base. This can include freelancers, digital nomads, and remote employees who may be looking for a comfortable and welcoming workspace outside of their home.

Improved productivity and creativity: For remote workers, the change of environment can provide a boost in productivity and creativity. By providing a quiet and comfortable workspace with access to Wi-Fi and power outlets, pubs can become a productive and inspiring workplace for remote workers.

Positive brand reputation: Pubs that cater to remote workers can build a positive brand reputation as a welcoming and inclusive space. This can attract not only remote workers but also other customers who appreciate the pub's commitment to creating a comfortable and supportive environment.
Overall, allowing remote working in pubs can be a smart decision that benefits both the pub and the remote workers. By providing a comfortable and productive workspace, pubs can attract a diverse customer base and increase their revenue.

Reef showcases over 1,000 laptop-friendly hospitality spaces for free on their app, allowing pubs to manage what times they want to be laptop-friendly, as well as how many remote workers they would like in their space at any given time. 

Remote workers that use Reef spend on average £10-£15 per day whilst working, and generally go back to the same spaces every month. You can claim your free listing and/or book in a demo with their team at 

BII Licensee of the Year 2023 Semi-Finalists Announced!

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) is delighted to announce their 12 Semi-Finalists for this year’s Licensee of the Year competition.

Sponsored by fantastic partners Sky, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK. 

Since the launch in January this year, licensee operators have been entering the competition, showing the judges evidence of how they have been rebuilding their businesses and communities, with a focus on their resilience, sustainability, diversification and commitment to their teams. 

This year, the entries and Quarter-Finalists have been of a particularly high standard, making it even more difficult for the team of judges to decide who made the Semi-Finals.

Selected from a field of over 300 entrants, the 12 Semi-Finalists have reached this far in the awards on the basis of their exceptional entry forms, social media and web presence audits and mystery customer visits, courtesy of HGEM. Head Judges, Sue Allen CBII and Ashley McCarthy CBII, will be making their way across the country over the next few weeks to meet all of the Semi-Finalists in person to experience their businesses first hand. 

The 2023 Licensee of the Year Semi-Finalists are as follows: 

Samantha & Mark Robinson – Queens Head – LA23 1PW
Heather & Caroline Porter-Brandwood – The Bellflower – PR3 0JA
Nick Hunter – The Happy Cheese – SO40 7AR
Michelle Gilmour – The Old Windmill – CV1 3BA
Lee & Keris De Villiers – The Pig & Whistle – SW18 5LD
Stewart Odd – The Ring O’Bells – BS40 6JE
Kate Hayden – The Snow Goose – GU14 9DX
William Sheldon – The Tiger Inn – TN25 6BA
Ollie Coulombeau – The Turks Head – TW1 1LF
Joe Buckley – Tollemache Arms – NN6 9NU
Tommy Fox – The Barrelman – DD1 2AJ
Josh & Tobi Hardisty – Black Horse Hotel – BD23 5AT

To learn more about the LOYA Semi-Finalists, please visit the BII website: 

Steven Alton, BII CEO commented: 
"Our Licensee of the Year Award is the most prestigious & hard-fought award, showing the excellence in our sector; our Semi-Finalists are of a fantastic standard.

“We are proud that the awards process this year, more than ever, is offering a value-added experience to all those involved with business insight and the chance to evaluate your business available at every stage. In addition to the mystery customer visits, facilitated once again by HGEM, we have this year been supported by useyourlocal who have been promoting our entrants to consumers across the whole of the UK. With Cask Marque auditing cellars in addition to the visits from our Head Judges, Sue and Ashley, the competition this year will provide more value to contestants than ever before."

Our Finalists will be announced week commencing 15th May 2023.

All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on the 20th June, where the overall winner of Licensee of the Year 2023 will be crowned.

If you would like tickets to the event of the summer to see the best operators in the UK being recognised, you can visit the BII website here.

The BII would like to thank everyone who has entered the competition this year. Keep your eyes peeled for another opportunity to enter in the January 2024.

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