One of Ireland’s largest local radio stations is creating a showcase awards event to celebrate hospitality operators in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
Midlands 103 has already received over 2,000 entries for the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards in more than 30 categories, with the inaugural ceremony to be held in Portlaoise in May. A shortlist of finalists will be selected by popular support, with the winners decided by a panel of industry experts including Patrick O’Donoghue, CEO of The Gleneagle Group, Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen personality Nick Munier, and David Whelehan, wine expert on TV3.
Midlands 103 Managing Director Albert FitzGerald is encouraging the station’s listeners to nominate any establishment or individual they feel is deserving of an award.
“We believe our counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath are home to truly fine hospitality establishments, with quality, variety and customer service to rival the best in Ireland. We recognise that national tourism promotion prioritises Kerry, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way and so we feel a duty to protect and promote the vibrancy of our local industry. That is why we have created the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards.”
The categories are broadly divided between pubs, hotels and restaurants. The individual staff awards are very popular, with intense competition already emerging for Overall Pub of the Year, Wedding Venue of the Year and Best Customer Service (Restaurant), among others.
The Midland Park Hotel in Portlaoise is the host venue for the Gala Ball on May 21. The closing date for nominations is Friday March 30 and entries are accepted through midlands103.com or by post to the station’s headquarters at Axis Business Park, Tullamore, Co Offaly.