Star Pubs & Bars is investing in a comprehensive reopening support package for its 2,500 pubs ranging from health & safety guidance to easy-to-deliver food menus. The programme includes £250,000 of safety point-of-sale material, with a free pack available to every licensee.
The package adds to Star Pubs & Bars’ £21 million investment in rent concessions for its licensees.
The materials and advice have been developed in Star’s managed operator estate during lockdown, enabling leased and tenanted licensees to benefit from best-in-class guidance. The company has also trained its 80 BDMs on how to deliver safe, successful pub openings so they can provide tailored consultations for licensees.
Health & safety is a key component of the package, which comes with in-depth guides for every area of a pub as well as a step-by-step risk assessment template. In addition, Star has negotiated preferential rates on Covid-19 safety equipment with Nisbets and on risk assessments that result in ‘Safe to Trade’ certification with Shield Safety.
To help licensees maximise sales despite social distancing restrictions, Star has created an off-the-shelf menu of 22 best-selling dishes that can be delivered by one staff member. Available through Brakes with a special discount, the menu is designed to minimise wastage whilst licensees establish customer demand for food. For those preferring to serve their own menus, the support pack explains how to do this in a safe, profitable way.
Other components of Star’s package are free advice on licensing applications for unlicensed garden space, access to Swifty – a new payment and loyalty app – and relaunch marketing tools.
Says Star Pubs & Bars’ managing director, Lawson Mountstevens: “This is a critical time for licensees. In this period of uncertainty, we want to make it as easy as possible for our licensees to reopen, so we’ve taken a holistic approach that covers the whole of their business. Licensees will have one chance to make an impact when they open their doors again. This package will help them get it right and generate customer loyalty that should benefit their pubs for years to come.
“Licensees have risen to the challenge during lockdown. Many have taken the opportunity to review and improve their offers and have supported their communities through this crisis, highlighting the valuable role pubs play in society. These are strong foundations which our support aims to build on.”
Adds Kelly Vickers of The Pig on the Wall, Droylsden says: “I feel fortunate to have the backing of Star Pubs & Bars otherwise Covid would be overwhelming. We have a constant flow of emails from them explaining what actions we need to take at each stage, such as furloughing, written in laymen’s terms that are easy to understand. On top of the Government discount and initiatives we also had a major rent discount from Star Pubs & Bars. Without this financial support we wouldn’t be in a position to reopen. As an industry we now need to show that we can move forward and be ready for the next stage and get some sense of normality post Covid, whatever that will be. Star Pubs & Bars guidance through its Pub Collective site is again helping us through this process. We’ve downloaded their risk assessment which is fantastic and easy to follow. We’d struggle to know where to start if we didn’t have it.”