The judging team is chaired by Forecourt Trader editor Merril Boulton, and includes and includes experts from the industry including experienced forecourt retailers.
The process involves looking at all the entries, which are presented anonymously. This round relies predominantly on the photographs you have sent in – so make sure they show off your forecourt and facilities to their best advantage – in combination with your written entries. Separate marks are awarded for the forecourt and the shop, then added together to create an overall score.
Shortlists for each region and specialist category are drawn up, and judges then take to the road travelling thousands of miles around the UK to visit the top-scoring sites. Welcoming and well-maintained facilities, cleanliness, tidiness, a well-stocked and merchandised store, and friendly and helpful staff are key elements for consideration at this stage and adherence to the criteria for the specialist categories.
DON'T LET STANDARDS SLIP ONCE THE PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN TAKEN
If the site is every bit as good as the photographs suggest, it goes on to the final round. If it doesn't come up to scratch, judges move down the shortlist to the next highest scorer, and so on.
There will be three finalists in each of the specialist and regional categories.
The Forecourt Trader of the Year is chosen from the winners of the regional and motorway categories.
The judging process starts in June and will be completed by early August, with all finalists being announced shortly afterwards.