Pubs Code Adjudicator Calls on Publicans to Take Part in Biggest Ever Survey of Tied Pub Tenants

The Pubs Code Adjudicator has this week launched its biggest ever Annual Tied Tenants Survey, and has called on tied publicans to take part in what promises to be its most impactful survey to date.

Seeking to canvas the opinions of a record 1,200 tied pub tenants – up from 614 in 2022 – the research will provide a unique, confidential and truly independent opportunity for tenants to share their views on their pub company and the PCA across a number of areas.

The survey of tied tenants of the six largest pub-owning companies – Admiral, Greene King, Marston’s, Punch Pubs, Star Pubs & Bars, and Stonegate – will be carried out by independent research company, Ipsos between 10th January and the middle of March, and will cover four key themes:

  • Awareness of Pubs Code rights and where tenants get information and support
  • Relationship between tenants and their Business Development Managers and Code Compliance Officers
  • Experience of tenant contact with the PCA and the PCA’s communications, including the PCA website
  • Experience of new tenants, including the value of the information received and use of the sustainable business plan

Fiona Dickie, Pubs Code Adjudicator, said: “The Pubs Code exists to restore balance in the relationship between tied pub tenants and pub-owning companies so that it works better, and so that those tenants’ businesses can thrive, and the Annual Tied Tenants Survey is the best way to truly understand how tenants feel about a variety of issues. By doubling the number of respondents, this year’s research will give us statistically relevant data which will allow us to paint the most accurate picture yet of that relationship.” Dickie added: “We understand how busy tenants are, but we would be hugely grateful for their time if they are contacted by Ipsos  about completing this important survey. All results are anonymous and the research is completely independent.”

Tenants will once again have the opportunity to feed back on their relationship with their Business Development Manager (BDM), and comment on the support and information received by their pub company. They will also be able to say how their pub company has been applying the Pubs Code and what their experience has been, and share their experience of the PCA service and communications.

Last year’s findings provided an important benchmark as to how tied tenants view their pub company as well as the PCA. Overall, 62% of tenants said they were satisfied with their relationship with their Pub Company, and 22% said they were dissatisfied. Admiral came out on top of the satisfaction rankings, (80%) with Punch Pubs finishing bottom (47% of tenants satisfied, and 29% dissatisfied).

83% of new tenants found the information they received from their Pub Company useful before their tenancy started, while the tenant/ BDM relationship was generally positive, with 76% of all tenants saying that their BDM is fair with them in their discussions. Repairs and dilapidations remained the biggest pain point, with 39% satisfied and 42% dissatisfied, although this was a slight improvement on 2019 figures (37% satisfied, 44% dissatisfied).

In the 2022 survey, overall awareness of the Pubs Code among tenants stood at 79%, its highest ever level, while 84% said they had ever read, seen or heard anything in relation to the Pubs Code. However, awareness of their Pub Company’s Code Compliance Officer was low, at only 27%.

The PCA will publish the findings from the survey, and its response, as soon as possible after the survey closes.