Thursday, October 29, 2009

The very problem with the UK pub trade is that at the top it's been dominated by people who know nothing about running pubs or hospitality or who give a hoot for sustainability, community, tradition or heritage and have no regard for human capital - and have run their businesses according to spread sheet analysis without taking heed of real world evidence that's been screaming out "it's not working' since the Beer Orders. There ARE exceptions to my little rule but those people do not dominate the trade. The bean counters have been in the ascendant for a long time and the evidence for their failure to understand the business they manipulate is the thousands of pub closures and hemmoraghing of business failures across the UK and the appalling state of the fabric of the nation's pub building stock they are responsible for.

There is PLENTY of profit in the trade for all but it is not distributed equitably. The majority of it has been skimmed by the bean counters to repay debt they built their huge rapacious companies up with, without consideration for the long term. As a nation we ought to be ashamed of the legacy that has been built up by incompetent pinstripes.

The world's leading mathematicians and all those other nerds that 'Creepy Roberts' drones on about trying to support impossible arguments to prove 'the consumer is not being ripped off' know nothing about pubs, hospitality or anything of practical value to running the UK pub trade. No matter how many hours they spend poring over data they will never arrive at any analysis that makes practical sense of any of it. You don't need even O level math to see what's really going on. A good waiter or bartender with an eye for detail and an ear for customer's needs could do a better job of running this industry than the incumbent incompents holding court over it now.

edited by: J Mark Dodds at: 29/10/2009 14:15:00

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J Mark Dodds 29/10/2009 14:16:47

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The limits to pubco giving

ON the subject of retaining anonymity when contributing here - a very simple reality is that many pub operators who are tied to pubcos, genuinely and with good reason, fear the long arm of the pubco coming down on them hard for stepping out of line. They fear not being able to get concessions they need in order for their business to survive, or having whatever temporary 'support' they might already have being withdrawn summarily for their misdemeanours. They fear spitefully aggressive rent reviews as a consequence of their having been identified as participating in any level of debate. I know of anonymous posters who've had Stasi style visits from BDMs within hours of putting up information about their pubco's behaviour. I'm NOT making any of this up - and THAT is REALLY scary. They do not post any more.

IF, on the other hand, someone posts ostensibly as a solicitor or trade expert they should be prepared to do so with attribution to their qualifications or standing otherwise their contributions are just hearsay and have no authority. There are too many anonymous contributors with supposed professional qualifications for being here stating what they assert to be 'FACTS' that 'PROVE' operators with direct experience are wrong about their experience.

People on the outside of this trade who have not seen first hand the tactics of pubco employees cannot possibly imagine what these people are capable of doing as routine in carrying out their company's illegitimate business.

Furthermore and herewithafter, subject to contractions

Good for you Gilbert. And to Mass Beercott too, for being frank and unambiguous. It's what separates the deniers from the people who acknowledge what is happening.

This post replies to Gilbert Bank > Furthermore and herewithafter, subject to contractions

Thank you for the objectivity lesson Sam, I do take your point but I do stand by Gilbert's views - he's an astute observer of nitty gritty reality on the shop floor and a long way above.

Deniers and Knowers - as a statement coming from an individual it may seem arrogant and centric but it's only a reflection of what's really happening right now - the whole trade is polarising around those positions. Unfortunately, increasingly, it is clear that moderation is futile when discussing pubco behaviour. The other side plays dirty and the recent OFT paper proves it. Even though many people expected nothing more from OFT than the outrageously irresponsible whitewash they published, it is shocking that they STILL get this industry SO wrong and even more shocking to see that a number of people contributing here, of all places, actually back OFT's position in supporting the tie and others so clearly misunderstand what's going they believe there's nothing amiss in the UK pub trade.

One way or another pubcos have bought pretty much everyone in the trade except the lessees whose misfortune butters their bread and pays for their ball breaking debts while pubcos have the audacity to accuse their lessees of being the reason for the trade's problems. Pubcos have had it all ways always and the got out of control in their own exclusive playground. They need to be brought to account for the sake of the whole trade and the UK pub goer who's paying over the odds for their nights and days at the pub.

edited by: J Mark Dodds at: 30/10/2009 01:44:15

This post replies to Sam Bailey > Furthermore and herewithafter, subject to contractions

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J Mark Dodds 30/10/2009 01:47:49

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Furthermore and herewithafter, subject to contractions and birth pains

In time the OFT position will be proven substantially flawed and eventually OFT will have to retract. In the meantime BII is treading a dodgy path. Getting into bed with BBPA and FLVA was a big, if understandable, mistake - between a rock and a hard place maybe but still no excuse to take the pubco shilling, which is what this move is. For an outfit whose constitution prevents them from signing up to IPC it is disingenuous at least for them to cosy up with the tenants' tyrants. And considering that charitable status has perennially been cited as a get out clause for not taking a position on most issues affecting tenants in the past it's nothing short of bizarre their new boss is taking them where they are going - charitable status intact.

And FLVA chummying up with BBPA too? It's been predictable for a long time but nonetheless still a breathtaking development for its sheer brass neck nerve. Ted Tuppen's lieu-tenants. Is it a surprise to hear that Enterprise is offering tenants free membership to a representative trade organisation? Which one? Oh, the ONLY one that's independent - the one with an Enterprise employee at the top. Ahem that'll be FLVA then.

Going to bed early.

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