Are you the UK's best butcher?

Butchers are being urged to get ready for this year's Butcher's Shop of the Year. The awards are on their way, and independent retailers should keep their eyes open for further details.

Last year's event proved a big success, particularly for those butchers who found themselves being named the best in the country.

Last year's UK and Scottish winner Simon Howie from Perth believes butchers should enter the awards as they offer a brilliant marketing and life-changing opportunity. "It is something that helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors and supermarkets."

Simon added: "Going through the whole process is enormously beneficial as it makes you take a good look at yourself and makes you raise your game."

He has been using last year's win to promote his business. Every eight weeks on the last Saturday in the month, the award-winning shop offers customers a 10% discount along with canapés and champagne.

Simon is also using the awards logo on packaging and carry bags. "It is a mark that makes customers notice us and endorses their choice in shopping with us, making them feel good."

Attending the BSOTY awards at Claridges and winning was unbelievable, he says. "The feeling in that room was brilliant. It is a big thing for a small business to win such an accolade."

Simon has used the BSOTY win to market his business in 50 Scottish TV ads in the last two months. Another 50 are due in summer and a further 50 later on. "The award has given us something to shout about. Our sales are up 25%."

This year's event is already gathering pace and is being supported by Danish Bacon & Meat Council, EBLEX, HCC - Meat Promotion Wales, Lucas Ingredients, Scotch Butchers Club, Weddel Swift and Harmony Farm.

The show will again be taking place at Claridges on 20 November and entry forms will be going out soon.

MTJ editor, Ed Bedington, said: "These awards are your chance to shine. We have some fantastic butcher's shops throughout the UK and I would urge everyone running an outlet to get your entry in and get the recognition you deserve."

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