Friday, 3 October 2014

Enterprise Inns Develop A Managed Division

The UK pub landscape is on the move.........as if it had ever stopped!!.......the trend in the past 18 months has been for the main pub co's and breweries to develop their managed estates of pubs or start up managed divisions........this is nothing new. It was perfectly normal for the main Brewers of old (Whitbread, Bass, Greenalls) to own a tenanted group of pubs and usually a smaller but higher quality managed group.

During the late nineties and 2000's the mode was to convert the bottom of the managed pubs to leases.......often blackmailing the existing managers with redundancy only if the took the lease......this strategy was a catastrophic failure as most managers struggled to convert to the requirements of the leased model......along with scandalously expensive tied beer prices and exorbitant rents............many, sadly lost their money.

In Nottingham, good examples of managed to tenanted pubs included.....Fiveways (then back to managed), Vale, Robin Hood Sherwood, Larwood & Voce, Hayloft Giltbrook, Bridge Sandiacre, Fairway Clifton, the Wollaton.  Predominantly, whilst the early transfer years for the leaseholder were tough, as time has gone on the quality of the pubs in this group have actually held strong. Most have weathered the storms and remain very good pubs even though the first leaseholders are probably not still there.

This new development therefore of pub co's beginning to transfer pubs back to managed is more than interesting...........one would hope that they will be less ruthless in their journey to convert tenancies to managed..........but what will they do....almost certainly not focus on the lower end as there will be no more money in it... if they are serious, the top end will be the target....physically big pubs, in good locations with good catering and car park facilities...........hey ho!!..........the worry is that a batch of established entrepreneurs who have gallantly and successfully tackled the pub co's could be moved out and with it a commitment to local products and services...........micro brewers in particular may not get the freedom to sell into a big managed division... at a fair price??

Enterprise have almost 5000 pubs.......it won't be worth doing unless they have a mark of around 500 managed pubs in mind......they are saying the first 10 will be converted in two months!!...............

More topical stuff from the UK pub industry, with a local slant next week.........What does Doom Bar and the Cask Report tell us??

Here at the Lion, a top selection of real ales, ciders and entertainment this weekend.........Bradfield are brewers of the month

If you are Goose Fair bound, then why not come to the Lion for a decent burger before or after.......easy parking and walk down Noel St

Andrew Crawford
Operations Director
Pub People

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