In an industry high on tax and short on good cheer, it's survival of the fittest for Britain's pubs.Elizabeth, the Fat Lady is not singing for tied publicans just yet - the legislation doesn't come into effect until later this year... and until it's been given Royal Assent how it's going to affect the pub sector isn't clear.
|Tulse Hill Hotel - Recent proof that success in pubs is about investment|
The reason so many pubs are failing is they have been abandoned by customers because they are not fit for purpose. They aren't relevant to the people who are on their doorstep NOT because customers don't want pubs anymore but because the pubs have become tragically run down due to chronic under-investment by their owners, tied pubco's, for twenty five years since the Beer Orders.
Essentially the majority of the British pub sector is owned by giant pubco's whose 'low cost entry business model' has comprehensively asset stripped the national pub estate, and Britain's history, traditions, cultural heritage and very Sense of Place, for the last quarter century.
The pub sector is in crisis because of gross willful neglect by companies purporting to be the custodians of our heritage, corporations run by accountants designed to return the maximum amount of profit on the least possible amount of structural investment in the pub estates they own.
Of course while the majority is in decline because of bad business there are many able exceptions to the prevailing rule of the tied pubco hegemony which states the lie, most prominently pumped out by the pubco's propaganda machine the British Beer and Pub Association BBPA that pubs are no longer economically viable because of a 'perfect storm of market conditions'; Peter Borg Neale's right, the pub sector lacks investment - his own pub group proves (and there are significant numbers of other smaller pub companies around the UK proving the same) that pubs that are properly invested in and well run are financially successful - but the elephant in the room is still the beer tie and the pubco's and family brewers who abuse it comprehensively.
All parts of the Great British Pubco Scam which has taken 25 years to bring our pub sector to its knees. This period of unfettered free market greed (made possible, stimulated, protected and legally sanctioned by successive government's continued support of the beer tie) will be looked back on as a period of unprecedented neglect of the most iconic, socially valuable assets of Britain's cultural fabric - a period where we presided over a white collar cultural crimewave that has gripped the landscape and is leaving indelible scars that will be felt for generations to come...