The British Beer & Pub Association has revealed that on average, leased and tenanted pubs have received £27,000 each in support from pub operating businesses.
This support comes in the form of reduced or waived rent, as well as other support such as help with re-opening costs, refunds for spoilt beer and staff PPE. Just in terms of reduced rent and charges waived, this equates to around 85% of average annual rent.
The data was revealed by the BBPA as part of the Government’s Call for Evidence on Commercial Rents and COVID-19, which is due to close today.
According to the BBPA, in comparison to the financial support they have given leased and tenanted pubs, pub operating businesses have received but a fraction of the same support for pubs they rent from commercial landlords, with many not receiving any rent discounts at all.
The trade association says this contrast between leased and tenanted pub support and commercial landlord support highlights the benefits of the unique leased and tenanted model, which sees entrepreneurs work in partnership with pub operators to run their own pub businesses.
It says that with the Government’s Call for Evidence on Commercial Rents and COVID-19, it is important that heavy-handed legislation aimed at commercial landlords does not cut across leased and tenanted pub operators and pub entrepreneurs, undermining their collaboration which would hamper a model that has given thousands of pubs the best possible chance of bouncing back strongly as they try to recover.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Although it’s been a difficult one, the last year has shown just how important the leased and tenanted model is in ensuring Britain’s unique pubs survive and thrive. Without it, thousands of pubs wouldn’t be in the position they are today to reopen and recover.
“The Government is doing the right thing by consulting on commercial landlords who have not supported tenants in their buildings. However, any measures bought about from the consultation must not cut across the leased and tenanted pub model and undermine the successful collaboration between pub tenant and operator which has only strengthened since the crisis.”
Janet Jones, of the Boars Head, Standish, said: “This [Covid-19 pandemic] has been and continues to be a tough time for us all. But, Marston’s has genuinely gone above and beyond with the financial and personal support offered, we feel very lucky in that sense and are truly grateful for the commitment it has shown in helping us through this.”
Neil Douglas, of the Ardnamurchan, Glasgow and the Basils, Edinburgh, said: “Star’s support throughout the pandemic has really reduced my stress levels. They were swift to act and I’ve had cuts in rent of up to 90%, which was more than fair. By comparison, I’ve received no rent reduction at one of my privately leased restaurants and only 25% at the other. My heart goes out to licensees who haven’t had rent reductions; they’ll be sitting on a mountain of debt.
Jon Haines, licensee at the White Horse in Luton, said: “The last 18 months have really opened my eyes to the benefits of the tied model. If I was offered the choice between free of tie, or a tied pub, I would choose the tied option because of the level of support I’ve received during COVID-19.
“We’ve worked really well as a partnership; they let me run the pub and offer helpful suggestions from their experience in the industry. Admiral clearly want to invest in its pubs and licensees and the support they have offered over the past 18 months during the lockdowns has been invaluable. ”
Graham Usher, Publican at The Castle Inn in Cawood (North Yorkshire), said: “Our relationship with Punch Pubs is a true partnership that has only grown at a time when many publicans have felt extremely vulnerable.
“It’s so much more than just rent and beer, it’s the continuous support from not just our Operations Manager, but the wider Punch team ensuring that the risk and reward is shared. A recent joint investment has enabled us to create a 102-seater outside area which has proved invaluable as we look to bounce back strongly over the coming months.”
David Wraight, publican at the Black Swan in Leyburn, said: “Stonegate Group has been generous in their support over the past year. My business would not be in the strong position it is now, without their help. They struck the right balance in their approach to dealing with the pandemic – they needed to survive and we needed to survive. The rent reductions and stock credits were calculated fairly, which meant that we are now in a strong position to reopen. We are in healthy financial position and we are looking forward to a bright future.”
David Brady, who runs The Alma in Copford, Essex, said: “My pub wouldn’t have survived three national lockdowns and a range of restrictions on trade without the financial support from Greene King. We’re fortunate to run a tied pub under the leased and tenanted model as it’s meant we’ve had access to rent concessions alongside a range of practical support that’s been available to us throughout. It’s meant we could focus fully on getting The Alma back open again and looking after our customers and the community.”
Wayne Jones, of The Turf Hotel, Wrexham, said: “I want to whole heartedly thank you all at Hawthorn for your quite simply outstanding support and handling of a very difficult period.
“My BDM has been incredible, on hand to ease any worries and answer any questions I might have and the rent reduction has been a huge weight off my mind. The brilliant £1-£1 investment scheme has been excellent, and we took full advantage of it to create a very impressive beer garden space ahead of re-opening in Wales on the 26th.
“I have 18 months left on my tenancy and hope you consider extending it so I can continue to grow and make it the best and busiest public house in Wrexham.”