When you purchase a pub freehold, you’ll have complete freedom over how you run your pub. You will however need a large amount of capital upfront, and you won’t have any support as part of the purchase. You’ll need to find and source suppliers for everything, without any guidance or group discounts. The cost of buying a freehold is often considerably higher than the pub’s turnover.
Taking on a tenancy means that you benefit from all the support that the Brewery offers, whilst being able to use your own passion to add flair to the pub and make it your own.
Tenancies with Hall & Woodhouse generally run for three or five years, making them a good option if it’s your first time running a pub. You can dip your feet in the water without making a long-term commitment. At Hall & Woodhouse we refer to our pub tenancies as Business Partnerships.
Some Breweries offer leasehold options which are usually only available to very experienced operators, and can span 10+ years.
You could also choose to be employed as a Pub Manager, if you don’t yet feel ready to take on your own pub. At Hall & Woodhouse, we often have General Managers transitioning over to become Business Partners.
We’ve outlined some of the key advantages below:
When you become a Business Partner you’ll receive full support, with your own Business Development Partner (Area Manager), in addition to joining a family of like-minded entrepreneurs. Most operators who are new to the pub trade opt for a Business Partnership, but there are also many operators who have been in the pub trade for decades and run multiple pubs who still choose a Hall & Woodhouse Business Partnership.
First and foremost, you’ll need to complete the Pre-Entry Awareness Training (PEAT), endorsed by the British Institute of Innkeeping. This online course needs to be completed prior to a contract being signed. You’ll also need your personal licence to sell alcohol (also referred to as an APLH). To gain this, you’ll need to sit an exam covering legislation around employment law, trading standards, and the sale of alcohol.
The good news here is that Hall & Woodhouse will support you in gaining these, and the BII offer the online PEAT course for £100. Once you become a Business Partner, you also gain free access to our online support platform. Here you’ll find training materials and regular invites to webinars that cover topics such as product training, merchandising, menu creation and increasing profit margins.
As a Business Partner, you don’t need to worry about insurance to cover the building itself, as the Brewery take care of this for you. You’ll still need to ensure you protect your business, along with the contents of the pub itself.
You’ll usually need employers’ liability and public liability insurance, to cover legal defence and compensation costs should anyone become injured or fall while working in your pub or visiting as a customer or supplier. Your contents cover should account for fixtures and fittings, furniture and equipment, stock, frozen goods, and money, as well as ‘loss of licence’.
When you take on a Business Partnership, there’s often the opportunity to retain the existing team. It can be a good idea to retain existing staff as they’ll know your locals and the inner workings of the pub and the community. If the pub you’re taking on has already been operating as a Hall & Woodhouse Business Partnership, your Business Development Partner will be in an informed position to discuss the current team and their plans with the existing Business Partner. It’ll be one less thing to think about. Remember, whether you choose to retain some or all of the existing staff, or recruit a whole new team, you’ll need to abide by employment law and take out compulsory employer’s liability insurance.
When you run a pub for a Brewery, it’s likely that a drinks tie will be in place. This essentially means that all drinks are to be purchased via the Brewery. All other items like food and supplies can be purchased from any supplier – the Brewery can often provide recommendations if you would like them. At Hall & Woodhouse, we have strong links with suppliers, and often have Business Partnership discounts available.
If you’re going to be in a drinks tie, it’s a good idea to check out the range of drinks on offer. As a Hall & Woodhouse Business Partner, you benefit from the right to retail our famous Badger Beers. The beers will already be firm favourites with the locals, and at various points in the year you’ll receive invites to stock limited edition beers from our special Brewer’s Choice craft range.
Your Business Development Partner will be on hand to give you advice and guidance on ordering quantities and costs if you need it.
Building a good reputation is vital to success. Whether the pub is based in a community with a strong local following, or it’s a destination pub attracting visitors, you’ll need to work to retain and grow your guests. Through great service, surroundings, and a superb food and drinks offering, your guests will become your best advocates. Marketing is important, including social media, and featuring review sites such as TripAdvisor on your website and in your marketing will help new guests realise how great your pub is.
When you partner with a Brewery, they should have a full suite of marketing support and training materials available to you. All Hall & Woodhouse Business Partners receive access to seasonal and quarterly drinks promotions that include great drinks offers and exciting point of sale to keep guests happy. Our Partners also receive social media templates each month, providing ideas for social media posts to promote their pubs and drive guests through their doors. Hall & Woodhouse Business Partners are also all welcome to benefit from a complimentary website, with monthly support time and a free photoshoot, with heavily subsidised hosting.