In spite of concerns about Brexit and the economy, Star Pubs & Bars has reported a 10% rise in applications for its pubs and an increase in the percentage of licensees on substantive leases over the last 12 months. This follows on from a 12.5% increase in applications in 2018.
The company also saw a higher level of interest in leasing pubs generally in 2019. Traffic for its recruitment website was up 49%, with more people accessing it from mobile phones, and its pub open days had record attendance levels, up by 80-90%.
More multiple operators also took on pubs in 2019, evidence of experienced licensees’ confidence in the future of the pub industry. Feedback from multiple operators showed they are attracted by a combination of good, well-located pubs and investment support.
Hance McPherson, Star Pubs & Bars Recruitment Manager, said, “With stories in the news about businesses not committing to projects and investment, it’s refreshing to see the leased pub sector bucking the trend and demonstrating that the entrepreneurial spirit in the licensed trade is still alive and kicking.
'Operators can see the opportunities well invested pubs offer and are keen to partner with pub companies that have a clear business strategy to help them deliver long term growth.
“To kick off the new year, we’re launching a new advertising strategy putting licensees at the heart of our campaign, showing the myriad of roles they do daily whilst also highlighting key aspects of our 5* Support which licensees tell us distinguishes us from other pub companies.”
Multiple operator, Ross Robinson and business partners, took on their third lease with Star Pubs & Bars in 2019 and undertook two transformational refurbishments.
Robinson (pictured left with operations manager Jason Donnell) said, “Leasing a pub makes business sense as you have the security of a big business behind you and get access to various cash resources that you might not have available to fund yourself otherwise.
'Star Pubs also has a fantastic portfolio of well-located pubs that wouldn’t ever be seen on the open market. We have a successful partnership with Star Pubs & Bars as they offer flexibility of leases and funding tailored to each pub and some great pubs.”