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Pubs / 18 July 2022

Publicans praise business advice and support from pub companies

80% of publicans running a partnered pub have praised the advice received from their pub company’s Business Development Managers (BDMs), new survey data shows.

In a survey conducted by KAM Media for the British Beer and Pub Association, publicans responded to questions about their relationships with their BDMs stating that their advice was professional, transparent, and fair.

BDMs provide advice on everything from market trends to renovations, and this data helps to shine a light on the breadth of support publicans received from their pub companies during the pandemic, alongside £360million across the sector in waived rent and other financial relief.

The partnership model works by giving people across the country the opportunity to run their own pubs with the support and guidance from a pub company as their landlord.  Whilst several thousand hospitality businesses closed for good during the pandemic, the financial and wider support provided by pub companies large and small to their publicans enabled these pubs to re-open and continue to be at the heart of the communities they serve.

Darren Paul, a publican who runs the Station in King’s Heath near Birmingham undertook a refurb of the outside area of his pub following advice from his pub company, he said:

“Day to day I’m focused on running the pub, so I really value my pub company helping me to spot opportunities to invest and develop the Station to make it even better for our loyal customers.

“I would definitely recommend running a partnered pub, in fact I have a friend looking to partner with my company at the moment. It is a partnership that helps deliver real results.”

Jackie Fairburn who runs the Hare and Hounds in Tingley, outside Leeds said:

“I get a lot of comfort from knowing that there is always someone at the other end of the phone should I need advice on something, but at the same time they let me do my own thing and run my pub the way I want to run it.

I really appreciate getting advice on upcoming trends in products that I might not otherwise know about. I know my vodka and gin, but when it comes to beer, they’ve been great at flagging what’s popular and up and coming and I wouldn’t know that otherwise.” 

The survey was conducted amongst publicans of pubs owned by the six pub companies which are covered by the Pubs Code; three quarters of respondents said their relationship with their pub company had improved since the introduction of the Pubs Code in 2016.

Fiona Dickie, the Pubs Code Adjudicator said:

“The survey results tell a similar story to those of my annual tenant survey, where 76% of the tenants surveyed agreed their BDM was fair in discussions. This is an important relationship and under the Pubs Code tenants have a right to be treated fairly by their BDM and to receive appropriate notes of discussions.

It’s pleasing to see that the majority of respondents said their pub company relationship has improved since the Code, further demonstrating the positive difference it is making for regulated tied tenants.”

Commenting on the research, Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“The partnership pub model has proven time and time again how helpful it can be to have a pub company to turn to for advice.

“The model supports a range of people to run their own pubs, from first timers to seasoned publicans, matching people embedded in the communities they serve with the market knowledge and oversight to ensure their pubs can thrive.”

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