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Cateys 2017: Pub and Bar Award, Chris Hill, the New World Trading Company

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Cateys 2017: Pub and Bar Award, Chris Hill, the New World Trading Company

Sponsored by Britvic

Founded in November 2011 by the owners of Living Ventures, the New World Trading Company (NWTC) recently entered a new world of its own when it was acquired by private equity company Graphite capital in a £50m deal.

The business has seen rapid growth and currently has 17 sites, with sales  growing by 150% per annum from £1m in March 2012 to £30.2m in March 2016. EBITDA has grown over the same period from £0.2m to £3.6m.

The business aims to grow to over 50 sites within the next few years and the  variety of the individual brands, which includes the Botanist, the Trading House, the Oast House, Smugglers Cove and the Club House – allows flexibility in the scalability of the business, with the addition of future concepts planned to further differentiate the offering.

The talented management team, headed by Chris Hill, has already picked up a swathe of industry accolades and was recently voted in the top 10 of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies 2017, as well as being ranked in the top 20 of The Sunday Times Fast Track 100.

Away from the acquisition, 2016 was an important year for the business in other respects, as it saw the implementation of a new digital marketing strategy, with a  continued focus on building honest stories to create high-quality, unique and personalised content that markets the brand in a genuine way while supporting the company’s core values. From this, NWTC claims to have a much better understanding of its customers, enabling it to offer a message that is bespoke to  them, based on what the business has learned about their habits and behaviour.

A seamless customer experience across each physical and digital touchpoint that immerses customers in the brand is at the heart of what NWTC does. There’s a strong focus on constant management interaction, electronic customer  satisfaction surveys and mystery shops.

The business aims to set itself apart from its competitors with heavy investment  in training to ensure high levels of service, with staff having the confidence and knowledge to answer any guest’s question. As a result, 70% of NWTC’s business is repeat custom.

To ensure cohesion among employees, even at a time of rapid growth, the  company has also instituted the Tribes project to drive employee engagement. Launched in May, Tribes is a unique company-wide project offering opportunities for NWTC to bring employees together, to organise events based around the wants and desires of team members, and to engage and reward  employees on a regular basis.

NWTC also does a considerable amount of work for charity, with a recent campaign at the Botanist for national charity Barnardo’s raising more than £40,000.

The judges praised the pub business as inspirational, having built a team that leads the industry, running busy bars with very well-trained staff and a great product.

What the judges said
“The New World Trading Company is a truly impressive and innovative business and is testament to Chris Hill’s hard work and leadership. I am sure Chris will continue to drive great results.”
Joycelyn Neve

“In a tough group, Chris Hill really stood out as the leader of a team who have been through and achieved so much. He doesn’t chase the limelight – he just works hard.”
Ed Turner

The shortlist
Peter Borg-Neal, Oakman Inns & Restaurants
Josh Eggleton, The Pony and Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset
Chris Hill, The New World Trading Company
Hector Ross, Bel & the Dragon

The judges
Kate Mackenzie, The Pipe and Glass Inn
Joycelyn Neve, Seafood Pub Company
Andrew Pern, The Star Inn at Harome
Alex Reilley, Loungers
Paul Salisbury, Lovely Pubs
Hamish Stoddart, The Peach Pub Company
Edward Turner, Buff & Bear Saloon

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