Chester city centre businesses have this week come together to celebrate as the winners of the annual CH1ChesterBID Customer Service Awards were announced at Chester Town Hall.
Introduced by Chester’s Business Improvement District in 2015, the awards recognise Chester’s shops, restaurants, bars, independent retailers and other businesses that go the extra mile for customers.
Nominated online by the general public, the awards cover 14 different categories, including ‘Best Independent Business’ and ‘Best Large Retailer’. The retailers and outlets that received the most votes from the public were then visited by a mystery shopper to determine the overall winner for each category.
Among the winners on the night was Watergate Street Gallery, which picked up the ‘Best Independent Retailer’ award for the second successive year.
Jaunty Goat on Bridge Street also retained its title as ‘Best Coffee Shop’ for the third consecutive year, having won the award in both 2017 and 2018.
The Pied Bull was noted for its exceptional customer service in the category, ‘Best Hotel / B&B’, and winning the ‘Best of Grosvenor Shopping Centre’ was Whitewall Galleries.
Marks & Spencer won ‘Best Large Retailer’ (21 Staff or more), whilst Accessorize picked up the accolade for ‘Small Fashion Retailer (20 staff or less)’.
Greggs was recognised as the ‘Best Food on the Go’ business, with the ‘Best Small Retailer’ (20 staff or less in the Chester branch) award being handed out to Disney Store.
Travel firm Deva Travel and Tours won the ‘Best Travel and Leisure’ award. Further winners included Lush in the ‘Health & Beauty Retailers’ category, as well as Specsavers, which picked up the award for ‘Best Health & Beauty Services’.
The Coach House picked up two awards, for ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best Pub, Club and Bar’, whilst Lloyds Bank were presented with the ‘Best Professional Services’ award.
Carl Critchlow, BID Manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “These awards give us a chance to recognise the hardworking businesses that make Chester a unique place to shop, dine and visit.”
“We introduced the awards at the beginning of our first term and they are now something that we look forward to in the annual business calendar. We understand how important it is to celebrate brilliant customer service, which is integral to the success of the high street and encourages people to revisit Chester.”
“The 14 categories represent our BID members and reflect the wide range of businesses the city has to offer. It’s extremely important that we celebrate the contribution of those staff that exceed customers’ expectations, as it is them who make our city so welcoming and popular with Cestrians and tourists alike.”
“Everyone nominated should be proud of being recognised as a provider of excellent customer service, and our congratulations go to the winners of this year’s awards.”
Amanda Glennon, Manager Director of Inclusive Teaching Matters, who is spearheading the campaign to make Chester the first ever Makaton-friendly city, gave a talk to the businesses and taught them a few Makaton skills.
Business who attended also donated £152 to Claire House Children’s hospice through a raffle and a Chester-themed quiz on the night to help the charity with its work in the local area.
The full list of winners and shortlisted businesses was as follows:
Nominated: The Alchemist, The Coach House, Barlounge.
Winner: The Coach House
Best Coffee Shop
Nominated: Jaunty Goat, Mad Hatters Tearoom & Bakery, Chatwins
Winner: Jaunty Goat
Nominated: The Coach House, Ristorante Sergio, Olive Tree Brasserie
Winner: The Coach House
Best Food on the Go
Nominated: Greggs, Chip O Dee, Five Guys
Best Small Retailer (less than 20 employees in the Chester store)
Nominated: Hotel Chocolat, Disney Store, Build-a-Bear Workshop
Winner: Disney Store
Best Small Fashion Retailer (less than 20 employees in the Chester store)
Nominated: Ann Summers, Accessorize, Dr Martens
Best Large Retailer (more than 20 employees in the Chester store)
Nominated: Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Boots Foregate Street
Winner: Marks & Spencer
Best Independent Retailer (less than 5 branches)
Nominated: Chester Market, Watergate Street Gallery, Weasel & The Bug
Winner: Watergate Street Gallery
Best Health & Beauty Services
Nominated: Specsavers, Boots Opticians, Inked Up Chester
Best Health & Beauty Retailer
Nominated: Lush, Superdrug, Boots Forum Shopping Centre
Best Travel & Leisure
Nominated: Abbey Taxis, Deva Travel & Tours, KingKabs
Winner: Deva Travel & Tours
Nominated: The Grosvenor, The Pied Bull, The Coach House
Winner: The Pied Bull
Best Professional Services
Nominated: Barclays, Lloyds Bank, Oliver & Co
Winner: Lloyds Bank
Best of Grosvenor Shopping Centre
Nominated: The Perfume Shop, Whitewall Galleries, Kayes Jewellers
Winner: Whitewall Galleries
You can view all the photographs taken at the 2019 CH1ChesterBID Customer Service Awards here.