The husband and wife behind popular Moseley pub The Prince of Wales have been named the UK’s best licensees.
The British Institute of Innkeeping Licensee of the Year Award for 2015 has been given to Keith and Diane Marsden, who rose above the rest for a series of innovations which judges said created a unique atmosphere.
The Moseley village pub, which is known for its large beer garden, boasts a cocktail bar, alongside cigar and wine sheds.
Mr Marsden told the Post: “It is not bad for a small pub from suburban Birmingham taking on the creme de la creme of the British pub industry.
“It is pretty simple really – we have got a great team and we sell some great stuff.
It is second time lucky for Mr and Mrs Marsden, who made it to the semi-finals of the coveted awards in 2014.
The couple, who have worked in the industry for ten years, have run the Spirit Lease pub since 2007.
Mr Marsden, whose background is in advertising, said innovation was central to the pair’s approach to the pub.
He explained: “Running a pub these days is tough. There are 10 or 11 in Moseley alone, so there is a lot of competition – you have to be different.
“People aren’t just going to come when you can buy cheap beer from Tesco and stay at home – you have to give them a reason. That comes down to great service, a great atmosphere and great products.
“Like any business, we have to constantly innovate. It doesn’t matter if you are running JLR or a pub, you have to keep creating new experiences for your customers.”
Sue Allen, director of the British Institute of Innkeeping, said: “There was an excellent standard of finalists this year, but Keith and Diane really went the extra mile. With innovative ideas, together with their sheer passion for our industry and their huge focus on their people, the couple really stood out from the crowd.”