We bring you the latest top news in the industry from this week.
Star Pubs & Bars invests £1.26m into South Yorkshire pubs:
Star Pubs & Bars is investing £1.26m into South Yorkshire community pubs, creating 25 new jobs in the process. The pubs are in the Sheffield area and include The White Hart on Greenhill Main Road, The New Inn on Hemsworth Road in Sheffield and The Lord Reresby in the nearby village of Thrybergh.
All of the pubs will receive complete refurbishments to transform dated décor, making them contemporary and comfortable for guests.
Kitchen refits and the creation of dining areas will enable the operators to introduce food ranging from pies and burgers to curries and steaks, while barista-quality coffee machines will be added and coffees served all day.
Cellars will also be upgraded with SmartDispense technology to ensure consistent quality of draught beer and cider, and new screens installed at The White Hart and The Lord Reresby to show live sports.
The pubs’ outside areas will also benefit from a revamp, with al fresco dining and children’s play areas installed.
“To thrive, community locals must keep pace with customers’ changing needs and expectations,” comments Grant Morgan-Tolworthy, Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director for South Yorkshire.
“Sheffield’s vibrant city-centre pub and bar scene is testimony to the benefit of investment.
“The expenditure at The White Hart, The Water Tower and The Lord Reresby will bring them up to date and broaden their appeal so that they’re sustainable for the long term.”
The investment is part of the £44m national investment programme announced by Star Pubs & Bars in June 2018.
UK hotel transactions see slowdown with £1bn sales fall in 2018:
Hotel transactions in the UK have slowed with a £1bn fall in the sale of hotels during 2018, according to a new report. The UK Hotel Market Tracker, produced by HVS London, AlixPartners and STR, said the 19% fall could be attributed to buyers and sellers both waiting for a Brexit solution and sellers being keen to avoid selling too cheaply. HVS chairman Russell Kett said: “If a Brexit solution is found quickly that is well received by the financial markets we could see some of the remaining private equity funds’ holdings making a dash for the market. Otherwise buyers and sellers will wait for the outcome so transaction activity will remain sluggish for the time being.”
The report also showed the fortunes of London’s hotels compared with those in the regions widened in the fourth quarter of 2018 as occupancy in London rose 5% year-on-year compared with a more modest 1% increase in hotels outside the capital. Average room rates also rose 5% in London’s hotels, to £157.20, boosting revpar by 10%. Revpar growth was 3% for the full year. Conversely in the fourth quarter, hotels in the regions failed to see any growth in average room rates, causing revpar to plateau. For the full year, however, revpar in the provinces grew 2%. Kett said: “For the UK’s hotels, the fourth quarter was a very different trading picture in London compared with outside the capital. Hotel supply outside London grew 1.8%, causing supply to exceed demand. As a result of more intense competition, operators were unable to lift average room rates. While supply growth was also strong in London at 2%, demand in 2018 resulting from a number of high-profile events boosted visitor numbers and meant in the fourth quarter London’s operators were able to mitigate the impact of the increasing number of hotels rooms available.” According to the report supply is expected to grow further in 2019 inside and outside London, with a 4% rise in inventory in the capital and a 3.3% supply growth outside London.
Changes to operational management at Punch:
Punch has announced that Paul Pavli, MD of operations, has left the business to pursue new opportunities. Pavli, who will be succeeded by Andy Spencer, has been with the business for 14 years in a number of roles.
Spencer has extensive experience in both managed and leased and tenanted pubs. His most recent role was group operations director for Brewhouse & Kitchen, having previously held senior positions in Greene King Pub Partners and the Metropolitan Pub Company.
“Everyone at Punch recognises and thanks Paul for his hugely valuable contribution over many years with the business, and I am particularly grateful for his support since I joined Punch last year,” says Clive Chesser, CEO of Punch. “We wish him every success in the future. We look forward to welcoming Andy to the team.”
Greene King to launch employment programme for ex-offenders as part of social mobility plan:
Brewer and retailer Greene King is set to announce plans today (Wednesday, 31 January) to double the number of apprentices to 20,000 and launch an employment programme for ex-offenders as part of a commitment to improve social mobility. At an event in parliament backed by Damian Hinds, the education secretary, Greene King will launch a report outlining its ambitions and calling on wider industry to give people of all backgrounds the chance to pursue a career.
The company lists five ambitions – to increase apprenticeships from 11,000 to 20,000 by 2022; to work with prisons in London and the north west to support ex-offenders; to become a signatory to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter; to increase promotions to pub manager; and to extend its partnership with The Prince’s Trust. Chief executive Rooney Anand told The Times: “Social mobility is about giving people a chance to climb up the ladder, irrespective of ethnicity or social background and to better themselves. To better the prospects not only for themselves but also their families. In Greene King we have examples of people who entered the trade casually, perhaps for a few hours’ paid work, found they had an aptitude for it and were taken on as a permanent member of staff. They can progress and it can quickly turn into a career. I believe this industry can be a pathway to prosperity.”
Articles taken from Pub & Bar and Propel websites