BUSINESSES that excelled in customer service were awarded at a ceremony at The Guild, Chester.

The Chester BID Customer Services Awards are now in their eighth year and recognise Chester’s shops, restaurants, bars, independent retailers, and service providers that go that extra mile for customers.

Nominated online by the general public, the awards cover 14 categories including Best Independent Business, Best Small Business and Best Restaurant. The businesses that received the most votes from the public were then visited by a mystery shopper to determine the overall winner.

Among the winners on the night was Geoff Hughes Family Butchers which picked up 'Best Chester Market Trader’ and Boots walked away with the award for ‘Best Large Retailer’ (more than 20 staff in store). Holistic lifestyle store Suzie K was awarded ‘Best Independent Retailer’.

‘Best Health and Beauty Services’ went to Brow HQ, whilst Deva Tours and Travel took home the award for ‘Best Travel and Leisure’ for the second year in a row and Lloyds Bank won the accolade for the ‘Best Professional Services’ in the city.

Businesses of all sizes were rewarded for their dedication to customer service with Lush winning ‘Best Small Retailer’ (less than 20 staff in store), Dr Martens winning ‘Best Small Fashion Retailer’ (less than 20 staff in store) and the ‘Best of Grosvenor Shopping Centre’ award went to Jigsaw.

Chalk on Watergate Street won ‘Best Coffee Shop and Cafe’, whilst Bar Lounge, took home the award for ‘Best Pub, Bar and Club’ for the second year in a row and Artezzan were named ‘Best Restaurant’. Chatwins won in the ‘Best Food On The Go’ category, as they did in 2022 and The Coach House took the award for ‘Best Hotel/B&B’.

Jim Dorrington, operations director at Artezzan said: “Chester has become a destination with some of the best businesses in Cheshire and the North West.

"This isn’t by chance or luck, it’s simply because of the fantastic people who own, run, and work in them. I believe that we are a city with a true focus on excellent service, and the Customer Service Awards night highlights just that!”

Carl Critchlow, chief executive of Chester BID added: “Congratulations to the outstanding winners of the Customer Service Awards 2023! Your unwavering commitment to exceptional service has not only set a benchmark for excellence but has also contributed significantly to the overall appeal of our city.

"Your dedication is the driving force behind the success of our local businesses, making Chester an even more welcoming and memorable place for everyone. Well done, and thank you for your remarkable contributions.”

The winners:

  • Best Coffee Shop/Café – Chalk (2nd Jaunty Goat / 3rd The Rainbow Tearooms)
  • Best Food on the Go – Chatwins (2nd Jaunty Goat Bakery / Pret A Manger)
  • Best Restaurant – Artezzan (2nd Chez Jules / 3rd Shrub)
  • Best Pub / Bar – Barlounge (2nd Paysan / 3rd The Coach House)
  • Best Small Retailer – Lush (2nd Oliver Bonas / 3rd Waterstones)
  • Best Small Fashion Retailer – Dr. Martens (2nd The White Company / 3rd FatFace)
  • Best Independent Retailer – Suzie K (2nd Chester Boutique / 3rd Styled Boutique)
  • Best Large Retailer – Boots (2nd Marks & Spencer / 3rd Wilko)
  • Best Health and Beauty Service – Brow HQ (2nd The Scented Garden / 3rd Lush)
  • Best Professional Service – Lloyds Bank (2nd Halifax / 3rd Natwest)
  • Best Travel and Leisure – Deva Travel (2nd Breakout Chester / 3rd Storyhouse)
  • Best Chester Market Trader – Geoff Hughes Family Butcher (2nd Thai By Thai / 3rd Cheshire Farm Ice Cream)
  • Best Hotel/B&B – The Coach House (2nd The Pied Bull / 3rd The Chester Grosvenor)
  • Best of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre – Jigsaw (2nd Kayes Jewellers / 3rd Jewellery By Design)