Star Pubs & Bars has extended its rent reductions for their leased and tenanted pubs, as the UK pub industry looks towards a cautious re-opening in early July.
The company, which is part of HEINEKEN in the UK, has already cancelled a significant proportion of rent for licensees. Since 20 March, two thirds of its core leased and tenanted pubs have received a rent concession of 50% to 75%, whilst one third have received a concession of 75% or more.
To support their pubs be in the best possible position for reopening, Star Pubs & Bars has today confirmed that licensees will continue to receive the same level of those individual rent reductions throughout July and August. This further commitment means over £21 million will have been invested into the pub estate since lockdown in March, directly benefitting licensees’ businesses.
This commercial support has been complemented by a range of other measures including a commitment to replace pubs with fresh stock when their pub re-opens. HEINEKEN UK has also set up the Pub Collective website which is a one stop shop for all the latest government advice, free learning resources and advice on how to adapt their offer during these extraordinary times.
In addition, the company is working in partnership with its pubs on detailed plans to reopen successfully. This includes access to Swifty, a new payment and loyalty app that enables consumers to order from their table which is designed to help licensees reopen and navigate the “new normal” post-lockdown. Star is also working on clear signage and point of sale to help maintain a safe environment and will support licensees to implement Government guidelines on safe practices once they’ve been published.
Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director of Star Pubs & Bars says: “Throughout this crisis, we have worked with every pub individually to provide support and I’m grateful to all our licensees who have trusted us to do the right thing by them. Our business is built on those partnerships and we want to do everything we can to help make sure their businesses are sustainable long-term.
“We hope that the extension of the concessions offered can provide a degree of certainty to our pubs, as we all turn our collective focus on the complex task of reopening.
“Once restrictions are lifted, we want to see all of our pubs open, trading and operating as viable businesses as soon as possible. With lockdown measures starting to be eased, it’s important that we take a lead in making sure every pub has enhanced health and safety measures to make sure people feel safe when they revisit their local.”
Ed Turner, of Buff & Bear Saloons who runs The Old Ale & Coffee House in Salisbury, and The Dolphin in Newbury, says: “Star Pubs & Bars has been really good in helping us through lockdown with cancelling some rent. The Government’s Furlough scheme is fantastic, as is the PAYE payment holiday and delaying business rates till next year. However, at some stage the PAYE and business rates need to be paid and we have to earn the money to do so. This is a generational crisis – we’re all in the same boat.
“But you can’t feel sorry for yourself; you’ve got to have a positive outlook. People will be desperate to come back to pubs, for someone else to cook and wash-up. The one good thing that has come out of this is the online public support for pubs – reassurance and recognition that the pub is considered a really important part of British culture.”