Stonegate pub company has announced that it is to abandon its controversial decision to introduce charges for glassware.
Earlier this month Campaign for Pubs Wrote to Stonegate Pubs, slamming their decision to introduce charges brewers and cider makers branded glasses, which they have been previously been supplying for free to tied tenants.
The new charges were for branded glassware across Stonegate’s leased and tenanted pubs, which left Stonegate tenants “dismayed at this new charge”, with the serious pressures that all publicans are facing and have said they feel like “second-class citizens”.
The letter from the Campaign for Pubs to Stonegate challenged the decision and asks if Stonegate have the right to impose their charges on tenants and also questions what legal right they have to impose charges on tenants who obtain branded glasses from breweries/suppliers direct.
Greg Mulholland, Campaign director of the Campaign for Pubs said:
“For Stonegate Pubs to introduce charges for branded glasses during this cost-of-living crisis is grotesque and once again exposes the one-sided reality of the unfair and restrictive tied model operated by these huge pub companies.
“With many Stonegate tenants already struggling with huge energy bills and inflated tied beer prices, to slap a new charge, for glasses that freehouses could get for nothing, is a cynical abuse of their position. The move is unfair, and we also believe that it may be unlawful and we hope the Pubs Code Adjudicator will investigate this unfair dealing, as she has the power to do”.
Gary Murphy, a Director of the Campaign for Pubs and a former tied tenant said:
“It is bitterly disappointing that Stonegate Pubs are imposing a new and deeply questionable charge for branded glass on their tied tenants and to do so in the current cost-of-living crisis is disgraceful.
“The large pubcos are have a very close relationship with the big brewers and these charges are another example of the anti-competitive nature of the pub sector and the way large corporations not only try to dominate, but also don’t treat their own tenants fairly. We call on Stonegate to drop these charges and if they don’t, this is a decision that should be challenged in any ways possible”.
However, following “feedback from partners” the policy has now been reversed.