Entries for the Forecourt Trader Awards 2021 are now open!
The Forecourt Trader Awards is an excellent stage for acknowledging and rewarding the sector's skills and achievements and to all those who contribute to it.
The 26 awards are divided into two groups:
Regional categories - covers all types of forecourt operation, whether it’s a high-volume A-road site serving commuters or a rural site serving the local community.
Specialist categories - gives all your staff the chance to show off their skills and achievements in the past year.
ENTRY DEADLINE: MONDAY 10 MAY
Our panel of judges will be looking for entrants who show entrepreneurial skill, initiative and dedication in running a successful business. Their operation will be professionally and efficiently run, reflecting the high standard of discipline required to compete in today’s retail environment.
The judges will consider such elements as:
- welcoming and well-maintained facilities; cleanliness and tidiness of both the forecourt and the shop; general standard of décor
- store layout and atmosphere; range, stock levels and merchandising; consistent standards
- friendly and helpful staff
- facilities/services offered
- promotional activity
- ability to maximise opportunities and meet changing customer demands profile/role in the community
Regional Category Selection
Each specialist category has its own entry criteria. Click on the arrows below to expand and view further information about who can enter and what our judges will be looking for.
Specialist Category Selection
Judges will take into consideration the following key elements:
- Is the service well sign-posted and clearly visible to passing motorists?
- Is the facility well-positioned to accommodate all types of driver (eg disabled); and relevant vehicles?
- Is the equipment clearly sign-posted on the forecourt, alongside relevant information?
- Are the facilities advertised/promoted locally?
Electric vehicle charging
- Is the space clearly marked and kept free of other non-charging vehicles?
- Is the equipment in good working order?
- Does the equipment accommodate different charge rates – ie 50kW/150kW chargers
- Are the payment facilities clearly advertised, in working order, and offering flexible methods of payment?
- Does the site offer good facilities to accommodate customers while the EV is charging: eg good toilet facilities/refreshments/coffee/food to go/seating/pleasant environment/free wifi?
This award recognises the Forecourt Retailer who best demonstrates the most innovative displays of car care products and lubricants. Judges will take into account the type of display, product positioning and use of POS to encourage targeted product purchasing.
Judges will take into account:
- Displays – whether horizontal or vertical – should be group-related, i.e. all valeting together, all additives together.
- Eye level is buy level – position brand leaders, impulse lines and promotions at eye level. Up to 40% of all purchases will come from this area.
- Right side influence – when attracted to the display of product, the eyes continue to move to the right, the eyes slow down and are likely to dwell on the right-hand side of the fixture.
- Multi-facing – a greater rate of sale is achieved with an increased number of facings, which maximises impact and draws attention to the display.
- Sight and take – up to 35% of purchases come from hip level.
- Shelves – graduated or sloping shelves should be used where possible to create a difference and allow the eye to see more products on display.
- Advertising – capitalise on brand and TV advertising by using POS to guide the shopper to the featured products.
The site to receive this award will be able to make evident both the internal and external impact of the hot beverage unit and supporting signage, staff training, cleanliness, promotional activities and sales results.
The site to receive this award will be able to make evidence of the following criteria:
- Impact internal – the visibility and location of your hot beverage unit, point of sale and merchandising of consumables
- Impact external – the visibility of signs and banners alerting passing trade to your hot beverage offer
- Staff training – details of staff training programmes including equipment operation and maintenance, product knowledge and customer service
- Cleanliness – hygiene, cleaning and maintenance routines of all equipment and the surrounding areas
- Proximity – how well the unit is positioned in relation to other impulse items for maximising overall sales
- Weekly sales – turnover on hot beverages, how many cups you sell, average profit margins and what percentage of your overall retail turnover this makes up
- Initiatives – details of promotional activities or other initiatives that have taken place to boost your sales within this category and the results that have been recorded
- Experience – details of the number of years you have been offering hot beverages and the kind of hot beverages you have offered
Judges will be looking for a retailer who can provide evidence of community engagement through either social media, charity events, fun days or any other means. Judges will take into account bespoke initiatives, innovative use of technology and special partnerships.
Along with a supporting entry please submit good quality photos to show evidence of the following:
- Bespoke initiatives such as charity projects or events, demonstrating a commitment to the local area through business, sporting or charity investments.
- A partnership approach including working with local authorities or bodies to enhance their store or surrounding area.
- Social media campaigns or initiatives to encourage community engagement.
- Testimonials from customers or charities to endorse what your involvement has meant to them.
- Innovative use of technology-based solutions such as loyalty platforms.
This award will be handed to the forecourt retailer who can show that their customer service is second-to-none. Judges will take into account the presentation and maintenance of the forecourt, shop and facilities, relevant product ranges and of course knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Judges will look for:
- Clean and inviting forecourt area with a fully stocked glove and towel dispensers.
- Clean and well-maintained shop area, with effective use of POS material to enhance the shopping experience.
- A product range relevant for their target audience.
- Demonstration of a warm welcome to all customers by well-presented, friendly, courteous staff who have a good knowledge of products and services.
- Clean and well-maintained washroom.
- Speed of service.
- Provision of services that enhance the customer experience on shop and forecourt. To explain why you believe you should win the award for Best Customer Service, please answer the following questions:
- Describe your different customers and advise what products you supply to satisfy their needs.
- Outline any customer service training you provide for your staff.
- Describe any specific customer service initiatives you have put into place in your forecourt.
- Provide an example of a situation where you ‘went the extra mile’ for the customer.
This award is all about innovation and development within the design of the entire site. They have to provide documentation outlining how the design/innovation has improved the results of their bottom line and improved their retail offer and show photographs of the site as it was before, where available. Entries are required to show any new materials used or new products sourced to complement their design.
Judges will take into account design and innovation demonstrated across:
- Price poles
- Pump islands and layout
- Car park and facilities
- General layout
- Use of Materials
- How the site sits within the local area
Consideration is also given to the overall look and feel of the site, combining good clear signposting of areas and facilities taking into account ergonomics and customer friendliness.
Judges will consider sites both large and small for this award. Rollover will be looking for a clear rationale around why the range you offer is right for your consumer, innovation and quality execution.
Judges will consider:
- Consumer focus – how does your range and presentation delight and meet the needs of your different consumer.
- Innovation – demonstration of how you are embracing new ideas and standing out from the crowd.
- Visual impact – demonstration of brilliant execution and the use of POS and promotional mechanics to entice and excite your consumers.
- Sales success – how much have you grown and developed your food-to-go sales this year?
- Promotional initiatives – what promotional initiatives do you use to drive food-to-go sales and you can demonstrate the uplift/participation.
Innovation for this category will be measured by outlets that have driven their businesses forward by adapting their working practices to reflect the evolving needs of their customers.
Entrants with the best chance of winning have to:
- Be able to demonstrate increased footfall through a commitment to innovation.
- Consumer-driven – be able to demonstrate a real understanding of the evolving Forecourt shoppers needs/missions and how you are meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Entrants will need to demonstrate that the facilities are above all clean, clean, clean! Judges will want to see clear signage, a comprehensive maintenance schedule and facilities that can accommodate all types of customer requirements.
Entrants for the Best Forecourt Loo had to demonstrate that their facilities are:
- Clean, clean, clean! – including the loo, the floor, the walls, the door, the sink.
- Subject to a maintenance schedule to show the site recognises the importance of keeping the toilet facilities clean and in full working order at all times.
- In fresh, bright surroundings.
- Have a plentiful supply of loo paper.
- Have a sink with hot and cold running water.
- Have a plentiful supply of soap. Have a plentiful supply of paper towels or hand dryer in good working order.
- Able to accommodate all types of customer requirements such as disabled/baby changing.
- Clearly signposted.
Whether you are a site manager or one of the team, you will need to demonstrate how you and your colleagues deliver outstanding customer service to every customer, every time they shop with you. Please provide a written nomination on how your team goes the extra mile to deliver best in class service through customer engagement, store standards and working together as one team to support each other and grow your business.
Judges will consider:
- Customer service – how does your team demonstrate excellence in interacting with your customers and community?
- Engagement – how does your team apply their knowledge of forecourt retail to provide the best possible service?
- Stock – how does your team best sell the right product lines for your store and maintain availability?
- Pride and standards – how does your team demonstrate their pride in supporting each other, their job and representation to the customer?
- Please support your application with anecdotes, examples or testimonials from colleagues and customers.
Whether you are a group manager or colleague, you will need to explain why your store manager ranks as the best.
A nomination detailing how their manager is the best of the best was presented in the following four points:
- Customer service – how does your site manager encourage excellence in staff interaction with your customers and community?
- Engagement – how does your manager engage you in forecourt promotions so that you have the knowledge to be able to encourage full customer participation?
- Stock – how does your manager identify, stock and sell the right product lines for your store?
- Pride and standards – how does your manager motivate and inspire pride in you and your team?
- Complaints – how does your site manager record and handle customer complaints?
- Please support your application with examples, anecdotes or testimonials from customers and colleagues. Demonstrate cross-category knowledge and commitment to the latest innovations.
Judges will consider the entry based on soft drinks retailing, active promotion of soft drinks and merchandising standards.
Soft Drinks Retailing – Does the outlet:
- Stock the leading brands?
- Stock an adequate mix of colas, flavours, waters, juices, sports and energy drinks to meet consumer demand?
- Offer a choice? i.e. a range of original variants as well as low and zero sugar soft drinks? Range of well supported NPD to excite shoppers?
- Cater for both the immediate and take-home purchase?
- Provide a range which is reflective of market dynamics and meets consumer needs – i.e. does 500ml bottle feature strongly in their chiller (a pack which is driving growth in the market and provides the benefit of being resealable).
Active Promotion of Soft Drinks – Does the outlet actively promote soft drinks through:
- Having a number of points of availability – i.e. not only in the main chiller?
- Clear communication of prices?
- The provision of promotions on both take home and impulse products?
- Clear signposting of the category i.e. through strong use of POS both at and away from the fixture
Merchandising Standards – Does the outlet maximise sales through:
- Positioning soft drinks in high-traffic locations?
- Siting soft drinks alongside related categories – eg sandwiches, newspapers, snacks, a meal for tonight?
- A clearly blocked fixture, with soft drinks merchandised together?
- Sufficient space given to each product based on the rate of sale? i.e. double/triple facing for best sellers
- No out-of-stocks of the key range?
- Having a clearly visible category, from the door and the till point?
- The use of equipment in addition to the main chiller, eg 2L hanging racks?
- Maintaining a clean fixture?
The best valeting facility will be judged as a centre of excellence for valeting. Clean and tidy, clear signage, inviting and well maintained, the facility would be viewed by customers as a destination for car cleaning and stand out as the facility of choice against the local competition.
- Wash : Points will be given for quality of wash, layout and ease of use, innovation of programme choices, and theatre of wash operation and the overall inviting look of the facility.
- Signage : The judges will be looking for clarity of signage, promotion of the wash from the roadside, on the forecourt and within the shop, branding, appeal and condition of any signage.
- Staff : The judges will want to see evidence of site staff knowledgeable in the operation and the programme choices, actively involved in selling the wash and keeping the wash clean, tidy and operating to its maximum potential.
- Innovation : Additional points will be awarded for the use of innovation and new technology within the wash operation such as customer promotional loyalty programmes, payment terminals, added value features and facilities that deem the location a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for a customer’s every valeting need.
Automatic car wash, jet wash and hand car wash will all be considered but all must operate in a safe and legally compliant manner. Written entries are invited, but the inclusion of as many clear and labelled photographs as possible will be essential in the support of any submissions.
Winning our awards is a massive achievement for ourselves and our very deserving team. We go forward proudly with our awards by our sides striving to continue bringing our customers the best possible service and standards we can! Go team Abbiecraig!
Lawrences Garages were truly delighted to win the award of Best Forecourt Team. It truly gave them the recognition they deserve, particularly after such an incredibly challenging year. It’s wonderful for all to see and recognise the fantastic team we have – we’re immensely proud of them.
The entire team at MFG Barnetby are absolutely delighted to have won. This recognition within the industry means so much to us, and also reinforces the really positive feedback we’ve had from our customers.
We are delighted to have won these awards and are pleased for our staff who have worked very hard throughout the pandemic to keep the community safe, help our local schools, raise money for charity, and also still be here smiling and ready to serve our customers.
We were over the moon and couldn’t believe we won the Regional Award, never in our mind did we think we would get the BIG ONE and that being the Forecourt Trader of the Year award!