Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why Pubs Are Closing All Over Britain

This video produced by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, explains accurately and fairly why pubs are closing all over Britain. The excesses of banker style Private Equity business greed. Please share this as far and wide as you can. Please attribute authorship to Claire Cain CAMRA.

Link to the CAMRA upload of this video

1 comment:

  1. In twenty years I've met LOADS of tied publicans who've told me they are 'doing alright'. I touch on that in that CAMRA film I'm interviewed in - even before I signed the lease on my pub in 1995 I was suspicious of the tie and did a lot of homework and tracked down five Inntrepreneur lessees - all of them doing something along the lines of what I intended with the pub I was taking on - they were all in the press, reviewed in Time Out, considered modern, with-it businesses run by modern with-it owners, all had independent catering backgrounds like mine, in the West End, - and I asked them about the tie, the relationship with the freeholder and so on. All but one of them said 'we're doing OK' 'everything seems alright' and much of a muchness. The ONE who was different said the tie made margins very tight that you HAVE to be on top of stock and pricing all the time and tight everywhere in the operation. He was the MD of a company that had three tied leases and some health spas and some pub freeholds. He saw my business plan and even offered to invest and be a shareholder in my business, it sounded more like a reverse takeover to me and I waved it aside.

    Subsequently ALL of those businesses faded away, every last one went bust became toast died down the line. Even the corporate one who warned me was squeezed out by rent reviews and beer prices screwing their margins. And in the end I lasted longer than any of them in my pub.

    It nearly killed me though and left a lifelong trail of damage.

    Still. I'm an optimist and always believe there's an upside, no matter how deep the gutter you slipped into appears.

    That early experience was indicative of what would happen through the whole of my tenure in the tied pub sector. I spent years asking around publicans about their experiences - rarely do you find anyone who's prepared to admit to being totally shafted by their circumstances in a tied pub. Most say 'we're doing OK' hardly anyone is open about the situation. The few I met who were frank about it became founder members of Fair Pint. Others, some I've known for years before they got into pubs, refused to join Fair Pint for fear of being singled out as troublemakers by their pubco. Some of them have been evicted, gone bust or have been fire fighting for the last few years.

    Against that experience I've met several tenants who've managed the tie well - invested in a new pub business, built it up to 500 plus barrels a year then sold it before their first rent review. These are the ONLY people I know who've not been brought down by the tie - and they all got out of tied businesses asap. However: The people who bought their leases ALL went down the toilet.