This year’s Awards saw a great standard of entries for each of the Specialist Categories, with retailers having to adhere to strict criteria for each of the 14 different awards.

The Tout’s managed to bag three Specialist Category Awards, which was an early indication of how well they had performed in the annual competition.

There were many success stories, including the first-ever winner of our newest Award for 2023 - Best Sustainability Strategy - which was won by Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar – Holywood, Co Down.



MFG Barton Mills ASC_1459

Best Alternative Fuels

MFG Barton Mills_1454

Sponsored by Gadjet

MFG Barton Mills Service Station – Barton Mills, Suffolk

The site is primarily identified by the Esso-branded forecourt, with a secondary site identifier of the striking EV Power polesign. There is a dedicated area for EV Power offering ample space for up to eight cars to use the latest 150kW Alpitronic chargers. The fresh, modern branding makes it easy for customers to head directly to the charging area and get powered up either by paying by contactless card on the charger itself, or via the easy-to-use MFG Connect App. While waiting customers can take advantage of the Londis convenience store plus a range popular drink and food-to-go brands.  


                                         See the post-awards interview here


FT Awards 2023 Best Alt Fuels

Awards host Stephen Mangan (left) and  Ann Nguyen from Gadjet present Sathish Kumar Karuppiah with the award for Best Alternative Fuels Outlet


Park Thieves Lane HUQLI1WRNX1_DSC_2658

Best Car Care & Lubricants Outlet 

Park Thieves Lane HUQLI1WRNX1_DSC_2636

Sponsored by Convenience Distribution Group

Park Thieves Lane – Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Having identified that Park Thieves Lane was underperforming in the car care category, it set about engaging with suppliers on how to boost sales in this area. The company realised that a large number products were for car users only, and so an obvious move was to target the high volume of HGV customers that visited the site. Since the introduction of the trucking range sales have rocketed by an incredible 50%. The staff have really bought into the project and are constantly ensuring the site is offering the best range, with full availability at all times.  

FT Awards 2023 Best Car Care & Lubricants

Awards host Stephen Mangan (left) and Graham Tissiman, sales and marketing manager, Convenience Distribution Group (right) present Ian Cawley and Janet Hawthorn with the award for Best Care Care and Lubricants Outlet



Rontec Magor 3O8DS4S9YL8JMYW_Magor_Costa

Best Coffee & Hot Beverages Outlet 

Sponsored by Costa Express

Rontec Magor – Caldicot, Monmouthshire

Ragu and many of his team have been serving customers at Magor for over 10 years. Situated on busy M4 the BP-branded site operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week – it therefore has to provide a constant flow of food and drink products predominantly aimed at the on-the-go customer. The range includes four Costa machines which between them serve between three and four hundred customers daily. They have to be regularly cleaned and maintained, for which the team received a 98.5% audit from Costa. Non coffee drinkers are also catered for with a selection of teas.



FT Awards 2023 Best Coffee & Hot Bevs

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Andrew Miller, sales director at Costa Express, present Ragu Aravinthan with the award for Best Coffee and Hot Beverages Outlet



P&G Eurospar UUC2MMWGXLQES6H_litterpick

Best Community Engagement  

P&G Eurospar UUC2MMWGXLQES6H_thumbnail_IMG-4492

Sponsored by Essar

P&G Eurospar – Potadown, Co Armagh

This is always a tough category to judge but judges were unanimous in their praise for P&G Eurospar which prides itself on giving back to the locals. Year-on-year the work it does for its community is its proudest achievement, whether that be fundraising for charity partners or sponsoring its local groups in their own efforts. Every year the site fundraises for Cancer Fund for Children, and in the past 12 months has organised a mountain climb challenge, coffee morning and took part in the charity’s annual Bog Run. The staff also supported local charities. The total raised for 2022 was £6,152.15.




FT Awards 2023 Best Community Engagement

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Philip Brodie, retail business manager at Essar, present Jennifer Young with the award for Best Community Engagement



Daly's Service Station ASC_8953

Best Customer Service 

Daly's Service Station ASC_8954

Sponsored by JTI

Daly’s Service Station – Dungannon, Co Tyrone

Quality customer service has always been at the core of what Daly’s does. From home deliveries to personal shopping for the elderly or disabled, its focus is to provide a unique tailored service to meet each individual customer’s needs. The staff at Daly’s pride themselves on a ‘nothing’s a bother’ attitude, from the assisted filling of fuel for its customers, to personalised shopping for those with additional needs or particular disabilities. The ethos is ‘Excellent Service for Every Customer, Every Time’, which is maintained by staff training to relay the importance of fast, efficient and friendly customer service.

FT Awards 2023 Best Customer Service

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Tim Heathorn, wholesale, convenience & gas sector manager at JTI present Martin Daly and colleague with the award for Best Customer Service 



Tout's ASC_7894

Best Design and Development 

Tout's ASC_7903

Sponsored by Spar UK

Tout’s Cleeve – Cleeve, North Somerset

Tout’s transformed the struggling Lord Nelson Pub into a community-centric Local Centre after obtaining consent after four and a half years. The goal was to create a convenient location where people can access their regular needs. The two-acre space now features a 4,100-sq ft Tout’s store; Esso forecourt; 82-capacity lounge/restaurant ‘The Maple’; 12-capacity hair salon; 40-seater training facility; and head office. The forecourt and car park is designed for easy traffic and pedestrian circulation, with extra-wide parking spaces. Tout’s also created an Orchard and Chef’s Garden where people can enjoy picnics in the summer and community events.

FT Awards 2023 Best Design & Dev

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Ian Taylor, retail director Spar UK present Jonathan (second left) and Zena Tout with the award for Best Design & Development


Spar Mallusk ASC_9274

Best Food-To-Go Outlet  

Spar Mallusk ASC_9247

Sponsored by Rollover

Spar Mallusk – Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

The 3,500 sq ft Spar Mallusk store offers an amazing range of fresh and grocery with five different options within food-to-go plus three coffee stations including one solely plant-based. Operating from 7am-7pm the site offers not just breakfast and lunch, but dinner options too. The extensive food offer includes a self-serve Chicken Bar, Delish breakfast and lunch counter; Rotisserie chicken; new concept Burrito Bar; Subway with Deliveroo service; as well as an Ice Cream Bar plus kiosk for quick ordering; and the first Barista Drive Thru, which caters for breakfast and lunch customers wanting to get quick service and back on the road.                                 


                                        See the post-awards interview here



FT Awards 2023 Best Food to go

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Tony Owen, general manager, Rollover, present Danielle Martin with the award for Best Food To Go



Tout's ASC_7822

Best Forecourt Innovation 

Tout's ASC_7832

Sponsored by British American Tobacco

Tout’s Cleeve – Cleeve, Somerset

Tout’s created a local centre by incorporating various services under one roof, catering to the changing consumer behaviour in its area. The goal was to offer people easy access to all their regular needs. The 2-acre site now has a 4,100-sqft Tout’s store, Esso forecourt, The Maple restaurant/lounge with an 82-person capacity, a hair salon for 12 people, a training facility for 40 people, and head office. The store prioritises food art, knowledge and theatre for an outstanding customer experience, hence the store has elements of a specialised farm shop with a clean, crisp supermarket design. Innovations include the Maple Kitchen food-to-go brand.

FT Awards 2023 Best innovation

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Darren Hill, national account manager - Forecourts, at British American Tobacco, present Jonathan (second left) and Zena Tout with the award for Best Forecourt Innovation


Tout's _7762

Best Forecourt Loo

Sponsored by Jordan Group

Tout’s Cleeve – Cleeve, Somerset

The Tout’s Cleeve site has 14 toilets, 10 of which are for public use. The company understands the importance of providing exceptional facilities to its customers and takes great pride in the cleanliness and quality of the toilets which are of a classy theme - Victorian design in nature, made with only the best materials. They also have accents of an animal theme running through the design, such as door hangers and toilet brush holders. Tout’s believes that this unique and thoughtful design sets it apart from other facilities and adds an extra touch of class and elegance to the customer experience – hence they have been inundated with customer compliments.  

FT Awards 2023 forecourt loo

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Paul Jordan, managing director, Jordon Group, present Jonathan and Zena Tout with the award for Best Forecourt Loo


Doagh Eurospar ASC_9167

Best Forecourt Team 

Doagh Eurospar ASC_9190

Sponsored by The Forecourt Show

Doagh Eurospar – Doagh, Co Antrim

The 43-strong team at Doagh Eurospar consists of seven management, four deli and 34 regular colleagues. The team has shown strength and resilience through following its re-opening in 2021, and was able to maintain high standards in store, despite massive growth. It has also been able to adapt to the many new changes implemented in the store during the past year, including embracing new technologies such as a new Scan Pay and Go system which has enabled the shop and team to become more efficient as a whole, to improve the customers’ experience. The team is also very forward thinking, always aiming to improve and develop their skills. 

FT Awards 2023 Forecourt Team

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Joe Brammal, commercial manager, The Forecourt Show (right) present Daniel Duncan with the award for Best Forecourt Team


Danielle Hamilton from Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar ASC_9378

Best Site Manager 

Danielle Hamilton from Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar ASC_9405

Sponsored by 

Danielle Hamilton from Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar, Co Down

Danielle’s exceptional leadership and communication skills have successfully guided her team through the service station’s transformation to deliver one of the highest-performing sites across Maxol’s estate. In December 2022, Maxol reopened Kinnegar following a £2 million investment. The overall site expanded by 62% to accommodate the first dedicated Ultra Rapid EV hub on the island of Ireland and Maxol’s first Eurospar, which almost doubled the site’s retail space.

Danielle has brought 20 years of retail experience to her role to create a welcoming in-store environment, and has carefully managed her team’s rapid growth from 17 to 32 members of staff.


                                    See the post-awards interview here


FT Awards 2023 Best site manager

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right), and Jo Hayward, VP Convenience Europe from BP (left) present Danielle Hamilton with the award for Best Site Manager


Lynch’s Eurospar Greysteel ASC_8844

Best Soft Drinks Outlet 

Lynch’s Eurospar Greysteel ASC_8879

Sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Lynch’s Eurospar Greysteel – Greysteel, Londonderry

The impulse drinks section is the busiest space in the store, with a 24-foot cooler, constantly merchandised and ready for customers to grab on the go. There is also a secondary 8-foot cooler which supports our range of fresh juices and smoothies, ideal for that shopper looking for a healthy opinion and where customers can also pick up a sandwich or snack from our counter at the same time. The site sells more than £4,460-worth of impulse drinks and £6,450-worth of take-home drinks every week. It works hard to keep planograms updated in the chiller and main fixtures, and pushes promotions with multiple displays throughout the store and supporting branded point-of sale.

FT Awards 2023 soft drinks

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Ruth Fawcett (left), wholesale and convenience associate director at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, present Alistair Connor with the award for Best Soft Drinks Outlet



Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar PLKLX2HCTIL78S8_EV

Best Sustainability Strategy 

Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar ASC_9369

Sponsored by Convenience Store

Maxol Eurospar Kinnegar – Holywood, Co Down

The site’s use of cutting-edge technology has reduced its pre-development carbon footprint by up to 40% and established a blueprint for future forecourt developments across Maxol’s estate. Kinnegar delivered the first dedicated Ultra Rapid EV hub for Maxol and the first on the island of Ireland. The electric charging hub, which has four rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, is powered by renewable electricity. On the forecourt, Maxol’s Premium Fuel, a 100% carbon offset fuel option with fewer pollutants helps reduce vehicle CO2 emissions, leading to cleaner running vehicles on the road. Other measures include LED lighting, solar panels and heat-pump technology. 

FT Awards 2023 Best sustainability

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Aidan Fortune, editor of Convenience Store (left), present the award for Best Sustainability Strategy


Budgens Frilford ASC_7711

Best Valeting Facilities 

Budgens Frilford ASC_7752

Sponsored by Lumina Intelligence

Budgens Frilford – Frilford, Oxfordshire 

Valeting has always been a source of pride at Budgens Frilford and in July 2022 the site opened its new wash centre facilities, adding another rollover carwash and an under-cover 2-bay drive-thru jet wash. It also upgraded its vac and air/screen-wash units. All the equipment offers a contactless payment option, as well as coin operation on the jet washes, with pricing maintained at below £10 for the top car wash and jet washes £2 for two minutes. A top car wash loyalty programme enables a customer to receive a free car wash for every 4th top wash purchased. The new wash centre has become a destination for everyone, attracting a community of car enthusiasts – amid plans for an additional 2-bay jet wash!

FT Awards 2023 Best Valeting

Awards host Stephen Mangan (right) and Alistair Huck, account manager, Lumina Intelligence, present Sarah Redley with the award for Best Valeting Facilit