Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The problem of the whole pub sector at scale ...

The problem of the whole pub sector at scale is it’s dominated by big money extracting returns for the wrong reasons. It’s ALL about money. How that’s achieved is pretty much irrelevant.

People with a LOT of money don’t intend to generate profit from pubs by buying them to invest in them, make them attractive, relevant and welcoming so they become busy and able to generate a fair return on the investment; these people expect to make profit by buying pubs and running them down through chronic lack of investment then divesting them for alternative use. It is as simple as that.

IF you want fantastic, award winning pubs and you have money and know what you’re doing - you can MAKE fantastic, award winning pubs. People like David Bruce and Clive Watson have proved this often. Serially setting up great pub companies out of the wreckage of the market then selling up a few years down the line. And repeat.

The problem is that most people with enough money to invest in pubs at scale don’t care about making great pubs. And most people who WANT to make great pubs don’t have enough money to do much more than one pub, and perhaps build a small pub company over a decade or two. And that doesn’t impact the market over all. And why should such people want to impact the market over all? Most people investing in pubs as businesses want to make a satisfying living out of making great pubs. They aren’t looking at the opportunity the whole market presents - usually it’s regional and local and nothing wrong with any of that.

OUR problem as observers is we want to see systemic change in the pub sector that will impact across the whole, preseve proper pubs, improve them to pint pulling perfection, raise standards, and make pubs better than they’ve ever been, and fit for 21st century purpose. And there is no agent in the pub sector wanting the same. The agents want easy money.

WE have to be the agents of change. We have to take the Future of Pubs into our own hands - with a sophisticated pub company that anticipates the needs of the whole pub sector and devises an exemplary, replicable sustainable business model that can be modified to pretty much any kind of pub ownership.

Seriously. It’s not rocket science. It’s about intent. And being able to raise the kind of money it takes to effect systemic change.

What the British Pub needs is a popular revolution that will sweep the nation, A Movement to raise Big Money through a national community share issue - I mean the kind of money people like Rooney Anand get to play with - and use it to buy pubs FROM hedge funds, bring them into common ownership, and invest and operate them for people, planet and profit with purpose.

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