Unilever Foodsolutions has scooped the Beacon Award in the third annual presentations by the UK’s largest hospitality purchasing consortium.
Beacon Purchasing, which was launched in 2000 following the merger of Best Western and Consort Hotels, helps more than 2,000 small- and medium-sized independent hoteliers to procure exclusive deals on services and supplies from more than 130 national and regional suppliers.
The awards – which reward reliability, value, consistency, innovation and the willingness to “go the extra mile” among Beacon’s suppliers – were announced at the Best Western annual conference at the Don Carlos Resort & Spa in Marbella last week.
The Beacon Award goes to the supplier that has most fully supported Beacon Purchasing. Beacon director Chris Durant praised Unilever for “thinking outside the box” and for “looking beyond supply to helping customers with menu planning”.
“They invest a lot of time, and the customer is enjoying the benefits,” commented Durant.
Along with a crystal trophy, the winners are rewarded with a mention in the 2011 Beacon Directory and the use of the Beacon winner logo.
The awards were sponsored by Beacon’s central billing partner, Avance.
BEACON SUPPLIER AWARD WINNERS
OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE
Winner – coffee supplier Brodies, for a commitment to service that goes “way above the norm”.
Highly Commended – Mitre Hall & Letts
EXCEPTIONAL MEMBER OF STAFF
Winner – Brenda Spalding, meat supplier Vion Halls, for her “fantastic contact with customers”
GREEN TOURISM AWARD
Winner – wine supplier Bibendum, for an innovative approach that includes the championing of the use of lightweight boxes among producers in source countries.
Highly Commended – Office Depot
BEST PRODUCT AWARD
Winner – linen and bespoke soft furnishing supplier Mitre Hall & Letts, for its “value for money and wide product range”.
Highly Commended – Gilchrist & Soames
John Firrell, director, Considerate Hoteliers Association
Mark Lewis, editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper
Simon Numphud, hotel services manager, AA Hotel Services
Nick Scade, chairman, Academy of Food & Wine