LOCAL pub owner, Alistair Flower, has been awarded the prestigious Australian Liquor Industry Publican of the Year for 2017.
No stranger to owning and running licensed premises, a passionate Mr Flower is also actively involved in the community as the president of the Hastings Liquor Accord.
He has vast experience in the industry casting back to days where he was managing 45 pubs.
“While doing that I worked on ways to develop and lead local management teams on how to engage the community, value customers and provide consistent offerings,” he said.
Mr Flower owns Settlers Inn and Fernhill Tavern and said he is able to concentrate all of his efforts locally.
“I constantly challenge myself to walk in the shoes of a customer, to try not to think of operations with blinkers on and to create policies and procedures that deliver consistency and value,” he said.
“I try to stay front of mind to all members of the community, so hopefully they see that.”
He has been involved in the industry since he finished school and said he always enjoyed hosting and bringing people together in his personal life.
“I'm fortunate to be able now do basically the same thing professionally,” he said.
“One of the challenges for our industry is the many constant changes in legislation - changing of the goal posts.
“The evolution of food will continue to be powerful and leading but I'm also excited by technology and the creating of new experiences through innovation.”
As a pub owner in Port Macquarie, he said other owners and licensees have worked hard recently to unite as an industry and work together.
“As important small and medium sized business owners we have social obligations in our society,” he said.
“We constantly need to work on ways to lead and educate the social impacts of alcohol. As an industry we have improved but we can constantly look at ways to develop.”