Petrol retailers have one more week to stake a claim to be recognised as one of the best forecourt businesses in the country. 

The deadline for the Forecourt Trader Awards has been extended until midnight May 13 and, with almost 30 categories up for grabs, there are plenty reasons to enter. Here, according to previous winnners and industry experts, are 10 of them:

1) To reward your team. “The biggest impact was the recognition our team members felt in winning it. We put such a large emphasis on customer service and to win the award made our staff feel truly special,” says former winner Rob Exelby, managing director of Exelby Services. 

2) To illustrate to your customers that you are a standout business. Vicky Hennessy, chief operating officer at Top 50 Indie Penny on the Move, says that when her company won the trophy for best forecourt loo, staff contacted the local press, resulting in headlines for the business in the community. Also when it won best valeting service, the company made banners for the winning site proclaiming its triumph.

3) To boost sales. Award winners in major categories can expect a 5% sales uplift from this, says Scott Annan, prinicipal at retail consultancy Blue Ananta.

4) To show suppliers why they should work with you. “People love to do business with successful sites,” says David Charman, managing director of Parkfoot Garage. Joe Hockenhull managing director of Hockenhull Garages, agrees. “Suppliers who we had never heard of reached out to us because of the award.”

5) To build trust in your business. “It is always something we have been very proud of when talking about our business and it always puts you on another level when talking to anybody such as a bank,” says David Charman, who won the first Forecourt Trader of the Year award in 1996.

6) To use as a long-term marketing tool. Former winners use the winner’s logo on email sign-offs, and marketing material, and, in the case of Gulf, display the trophy itself at events. Last week on its stand at the Forecourt Show, Gulf showed off its trophy for best oil company initiative 2023 for its Oomph loyalty programme and Foresite store platform.

7) To open new opportunities. Joe Hockenhull believes Hockenhull Garages’ award-winning The Stage site was chosen to feature on the ITV show In For a Penny because it was named Forecourt Trader of the Year in 2020. “I am sure that we came to their attention because of winning the award,” he says.

8) It provides recognition for hard work. “We put so much energy, effort and attention to detail into this site, going through the ordeal of contaminated soil and the construction being delayed because of lockdown, we felt that if any of our sites deserved an award it was this one,” says Joe Hockenhull about the Wigston site. 

9) To help raise the bar across the whole sector. “Entering industry awards is important as it raises the retail standards of all entrants. Always aim for excellence as good is not good enough to win a worthwhile award,” says Scott Annan, principal of retail consultancy Blue Ananta. 

10)  To be part of an amazing event. “I can still remember the night of winning the very first Forecourt Trader of the Year Award in 1996,” says David Charman. “Being the first it was a very special one and it has been in our DNA ever since.” This year’s glittering awards evening is being held at the Westminster Park Plaza on October 10. 

To enter the Forecourt Trader Awards 2024 click here