Friday, September 02, 2011

Yes - as we all know in this trade, being food led IS the future - everything's rosy when you're food led - all the capital investment, extra work, doubled wages costs, training, planning, consumables, increased wet and dry storage space and equipment, waste handling, doubling energy consumption, increased marketing costs - these all add up to a hunky dory straight to the bottom line improvement in profit for all and every publican in the land. Many of whom will of course have funded all this through an in partnership investment plan with their pubco partners, who've been encouraging them to diversify ever since beer sales began to plummet - so they can charge more rent in a declining market.

Enterprise defending the indefensible. As usual. There is NO excuse for the sort of abuse of tenants that's endemic in pubco culture - under any circumstances. Enterprise, nor any of the other lumbering, bullying, behemoth pubco's couldn't figure out how to run a single pub even with a gun held to their head. They are UTTERLY dependent, for everything they earn, on their tenants from top to bottom - and they have absolute power over their tenants' livelihood through their machinations of the tie. It's no more complicated than that. They abuse their power simply because they can - and they ALWAYS get away with it.

The figures about breached codes are a useful insight into a much wider, darker reality but do not offer a clear indication of the amount of abuse endemic right across the pubco edifice. If bad behaviour is revealed in one place you can be certain it's not just there in isolation. The true figures never get out because of FEAR.

The vast majority of tied lessees never 'feedback' their experience to anyone outside the industry because they are fearful of the consequences of their BDM / pubco finding out they've snitched. They're scared of being hit up with a schedule of dilapidations, a demand for an electrical or gas certificate, or a EHO visit, or a fire department slapping them up with a HMO and thousands of pounds worth of improvements getting the building up to standard in areas their surveys never pointed out were deficient. They're already being put out of business by their pubco, slowly, painfully, through a process of financial attrition and they fear their pubco coming down hard on them for buying out of tie (even when they haven't) - because their volumes have dropped. They're terrified of being chucked out of their homes and left in the cold, having lost all their investment and years of work they put into trying to make a go of the business they thought they were in 'partnership' with their pubco over.

Outsiders to the pubco fiasco can never believe what is staring them in the face because it is SO unacceptable it cannot be happening in real 21st century Britain. Well it is. And it's everywhere.

Yesterday I saw a Punch sign outside a pub: 'Your chance to run this Fantastic business'. Hell YEAH! WHY is there this chance? Who lost their shirt making this pub available to YOU?

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