Monthly Archives: June 2010

Barrel Dregs, a relevant story from the archives. (65)

I felt I had to write in. Reading your pages was like reading my life history. Many of the dreadful actions of Pub Cos you relate. I too have experienced. I have owned a freehouse so the trade was not new to me but I was a babe in arms when dealing with the leasehold negotiators for the Pub Co.

I had a meeting with the new Pub Co and treated the meeting as a two way interview and I found them quite legalistic and defensive in their responses, unlike any BDM I have met but just as unforthcoming about the realities off the business


So anything you say to help, in either scenario, would be much appreciated.
 

I have a 15 year lease, 8 years left on an 8 roomed inn with a beer and cider only tie.
I have known the place for over twenty years and for half of this it was was apparently successful as a restaurant and freehouse. A Pub Co then purchased it, spent nothing and ran it into the ground, at which point the present Pub Co bought it and 30 other properties. They ran it as a managed house for a year or so without success and put the lease up for sale with the promise of a major refurb.
I took on the new lease in 2002. The refurb was done and used to justify the higher rent. We upped the standard to get 4 AA stars and an AA food Rosette. We have struggled from time to time but the good balanced out the bad until Sept 2008 when there was a major dip in business following a really poor summer and I alerted the BDM to the problem; this time there was no good to see us through the bad. We arranged a meeting and went through the figures and forward bookings. His response was that for the Pub Co to help us we must accept their “value” business model; reduce our room prices to £50 to compete with Premier Inns and reduce our food prices substantially to get more people in. I was very doubtful but for the sake of their unspecified help I agreed. One week later I found out what “help” meant. I was informed that I was on stop for beer orders. This subsequently changed to cash before delivery plus rent weekly plus arrears (one months rent at that time). Terms that were impossible to meet. October was again poor, November worse and December the lowest room bookings we have had in 7 years. And throughout this and meetings with my accountant and solicitor the brewery has not moved one scintilla other than to issue a statutory demand and to fine me for buying out. The choice is pretty stark; pay up or get out and become bankrupt. Fortunately I can raise the funds required but I really want some movement from the Pub Co on the rent to justify more capital being put in.

At this point you may well think me mad. I am considering another leasehold property with a smaller Pub Company, free of tie. It is a closed property due to insolvency and I would hope to secure sensible terms. The business is similar to my present one, rooms being the core component, in a market that is better than the present area.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

 

Latest Telephone Scam

 

PLEASE PASS ON.The new telephone ‘scam’ has arrived.

I received a call from a ‘representative’ of BT, informing me that he was disconnecting me because of an unpaid bill. He demanded payment immediately of £31.00, or it would be £118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn’t even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!
   
I asked the guy’s name – the very ‘English’ John Peacock with a very ‘African’ accent – & phone number –  0800 0800 152  0800 0800 152 .
   
Obviously, he realized I wasn’t believing his story, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he told me to hang up & try phoning someone – he would disconnect my phone to prevent this.
   
AND HE DID!! My phone was dead – no engaged tone, nothing – until he phoned me again.
   
Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made & he said credit card, there & then.
   
I said that I didn’t know how he’d done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, I didn’t believe his name or that he worked for BT.
   
He hung up.
   
Did 1471 & phoned his fictitious 0800 number – not recognised.    
   
I phoned the police to let them know, I wasn’t the first! It’s only just started apparently but it is escalating.
   
Their advice was to let as many people know by word of mouth of this scam. The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it’s real, so please let as many friends & family aware of this.
 
This is good but not that clever. He gave the wrong number – it should have been  0800 800152  0800 800152 which takes you through to BT Business. The cutting off of the line is very simple , he stays on the line with the mute button on and you can’t dial out – but he can hear you trying.  (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back. You could almost be convinced! The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool the elderly and vulnerable.  Obviously, if this scam is real, once they have your credit/debit card details, there is nothing to stop them cleaning out your account.
 

Barfly

Barrel Dregs, beware of BDM’s bearing Gifts before June 2011. (62)

Pot Boy hates to fall out with fellow Licensees but after you have been brought up in the trade and stayed in it man and boy, you get a few wrinkles along the way.

PB was visiting his favourite Aunt Dolores on the leafy Kent/East Sussex borders and dropped in to see an old mate still on an old Brewery lease with its last five year rent review in May 2011.

The freehold is now owned by a Pubco.

The Pubco BRM called all smiles and bonhomie couple of weeks ago and because he has been such a good tenant over all these years, offers a new 20 year lease on revised terms, including RPI rent indexation with a reduction in rent from £58K down to £53K.Yes,a £5K reduction plus extra “trade support” that was never clearly spelt out.

All this was on the basis that my mate signs up there and then otherwise if the review is handled in the usual manner next year the rent would certainly not stay the same and most likely go up substantially.

So he was categorically assured.

He signed the new agreement on the third visit by the BRM (all over the span of nine days).

DUMB,DUMB and DUMB.

Well, PB got into a well heated discussion with his mate who himself has over 20 years trade experience,and “always trusted the Brewery” (its a Pubco now but no matter) and he knew a good deal when a good deal was on offer.

Total sales on a full tie basis about £430K,30% food but with unavoidable high associated labour costs.

Strong local food based competition and a price concious clientel.Scratching a savings supported living assisted by letting out two rooms for occasional B & B.

“Bit of hows yer father, the Brewery don’t know, wink, wink”.

Well, it only earns him about an extra £5K but he thinks hes getting one over.

To Pot Boys cynical mind the threat to sign up now or risk the consequences next year were as hollow as the Pubcos claim that they don’t do upwards only rent reviews any more.

Basic facts are that the existing rent is 13.4% of sales and the new rent is 12.3% of sales.

Although the new rent is £5K lower, factor in RPI rises (current RPI 5%) and within only TWO YEARS the rent is back to where it was a fortnight ago.

BONKERS.

Thereafter it just keeps rising.

MADNESS.

At best,and that means very best,sales will stay as flat as a pancake.

At medium worst,they will gently fall despite all best efforts.

Expenses will march on at about 5%-8% per year.

That means that my mates costs will rise by between £8K-£13K next year and that, my friends, comes straight off the bottom line.

Such profit as he made is then wiped out and you can’t keep shedding staff hours if you want to keep your sanity and health.

No way !

Who knows what will happen to this recession and the Coalition based general economy in the run up to my mates intended rent review next May.

Betcha life won’t get any easier !

Doing some careful sums, PB is certain that you should NEVER EVER sign up to a rent review until the very last moment, and certainly not like his sad and trusting mate,nearly a year in advance of the review date.

For sure, PB is told by professionals who use his boozer,that the current levels of affordable rent should NEVER exceed at best 10% of total sales and might even be as low as 8% of total sales.

PB is sure that his mates “agreement” will be used as a shining example to other trusting suckers.One born every minute.

Not to be overlooked is the supposed relaxation of the tie next June 2011.

Time will tell !

Back to cleaning the pipes and not worrying about the spy in the cellar.

I would never accept inaccurate flow monitoring that is not even approved by Weights and Measures/Trading Standards.But thats another jotting another day.

Pot Boy.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

Barrel Dregs, The Ceilings falling in on Enterprise Pubs????? (61)

Short title Biggin Hill Pub Injury

CHEF INJURED AT KINGS ARMS BIGGIN HILL AFTER LANDLORD IGNORED WARNING FROM GMB TO REPAIR DANGEROUS BEDROOM CEILING WHICH COLLAPSED

 

Enterprise Inns managers were left with no illusions that it was their responsibility to repair a dangerous ceiling that had been outstanding from the original lease support works at Biggin Hill pub

Last Friday 11th June the bedroom ceiling, in a dangerous condition, at the Kings Arms, Biggin Hill in Kent, owned by pubco Enterprise Inns, collapsed and injured a chef who was laying in bed at the time at the time. As the ceiling began to collapse Chef Steve Thomas leapt from his bed in an attempt to avoid the full impact of the collapse and has sustained damage to the ligaments and soft tissue of his leg. A second employee was fortunate enough to have left the room just moments earlier. Had they still been in the room they would have taken the full impact of the collapse followed by several hundred years of falling dust and dirt behind it and most certainly would have been critically injured.

The pub tenant Nicola Rose is a member of GMB. She had earlier called in Hayley Brennan, GMB Lead Organizer for pub tenants, to meet on Tuesday 2nd February with senior managers & surveyors from Enterprise Inns that own the freehold of the pub to discuss repair and maintenance work that was outstanding under the terms of the lease between the landlord and tenant. One such item was a dangerous ceiling which was in danger of collapse. Enterprise agreed to deal with the matter but failed to do so.

The Kings Arms is at Leaves Green, Nr Biggin Hill, Kent and Nicola Rose has been the pub tenant there for 2 years.

Hayley Brennan GMB lead organizer for pub tenants said “This puts a complete  new take on going to your local pub to get plastered.  Enterprise Inns have succeeded in doing something the Luftwaffe failed to do which to bring down the ceiling in this historic pub where the Battle of Britain pilots relaxed.

 

In February I attended a meeting at the Kings Arms with an Enterprise Inns surveyor and the Regional Manager about outstanding repairs and maintenance of the premises needed at the pub.

 

I left these Enterprise managers under no illusions that it was their responsibility to repair a dangerous ceiling that had been outstanding from the lease support works. I warned them that if the ceiling collapsed on someone, GMB would hold them criminally negligent. They agreed to get it sorted. Last week it collapsed and fell on the Chef and he has sustained injuries. GMB will hold them to account.

 

While the Pubco boardrooms are awarding themselves massive bonuses, lack of investment in their estates has led to increasingly dilapidated premises. I am calling on the Health & Safety Executive to undertake an urgent review of all tenanted pubs in the UK before someone is killed – starting with Enterprise Inns”

End

Contact  Hayley Brennan GMB lead organizer for pub tenants 07850 919 933 or tenant Nicola Rose mobile: 079681 76130

Cellarman

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

Barrel Dregs, CAN’T WRITE, WON’T WRITE, AINT RIGHT !! (60)

CAN’T WRITE, WON’T WRITE, AINT RIGHT !!

A sad and familiar tale came to Pot Boy today from a Lady in Yorkshire who is about to be taken to Court and losing her Pubco pub.

The saga is horribly familiar and to be frank, Pot Boy in his innocence thought this sort of thing was something of the past seeing as how the much trumpeted Codes of Practice are out there loud and clear.

RUBBISH !

The Lady was really struggling to pay rent and other essential bills.

Business recovery scheme offered but NOTHING in WRITING.

One lager and one bitter comes in at £100 per barrel discount and the pump price is dropped to £1.95 per pint.

No extra moey goes in the till ‘cos the GP effectively stayed the same.

Discount ends and the pump price goes back up to £2.85.

What custom that has been gained thinks that the P*** is being severely taken and trots off to the other pubs in the area.

Lady then accused of buying out because “anomolies” in the Brulines record.

BRM shows up with a print out and  a calculation that “proves” she should be fined £2640 plus an administration fee UNLESS she signs a confession admitting her guilt.

If she signs, the fine will be forgotten.

She asks for confirmation that the fine will be waived, but gets NOTHING in WRITING.

Week later she signs the confession.

Brulines then come round to recalibrate the kit and find that in fact she is UP by nearly 675 gallons.

The Pubco owe her, not the other way round.

NOTHING in WRITING.

Next bank statement she finds she is overdrawn because, whaddyaknow, the Brulines fine has been taken out of her account.

She protests and the BRM says he will sort it out, NOTHING in WRITING.

The accounts department will do nothing until the BRM confirms the position to them IN WRITING.

Nothing happens.

The Pub goes on cash with order and she sinks deeper in debt.

Now she has to buy out and freely tells the Pubco who send round a surveyor to do a dilapidation survey which is verbally confirmed by the BRM at about £36000.

Nothing as to cost in WRITING, only the detail of every last lick of paint supposedly required.

She protest to the BRM who admits that the dilaps schedule is heavy handed and says he will immediately have the requirement withdrawn.

NOTHING in WRITING yet again.

Bailiffs turn up to take all of the pub furniture (which Pot Boy knows is just not legal, walking possession maybe, but not knicking the basics of trade, no siree !).

She vigorously protests and the BRM promises to call off the dogs but NOTHING in WRITING.

One thing does come in writing, a Court Order seeking possession for buying out of tie and now, non payment of rent and claiming the full cost of the dilapidations at £36000.

All the things she sought to have confirmed in writing as being totally wrong have now suddenly appeared against her.

Pubco claim now adds up to nearly £50K !!

She protests and the PubcoSolicitors say she is lying, guess what,because she has NOTHING in WRITING.

She is not going to fight because the last three years since the smoking ban have eaten up all of her savings,and after 19 years in the trade she can’t fight any more.

Our conversation ended with her in floods of tears.

Pot Boy is closing the cellar hatch very quietly,otherwise he’ll get so angry he will throw down the phone………

Pot Boy.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

Barrel Dregs, Codes of Practice, have we changed the words and achieved nothing? (59)

Part 1 of  a COP overview.

Having been asked by a client to cast an eye over at least one BII approved Code of Practice.

Bateman’s Brewery was the only one that was readily accessible.

The bulk of the information could be included in an individual company lease/tenancy agreement, where again the bulk of the information would be legally binding on both parties.

The sad thing is that the industry would appear to have failed to grasp some of the core problems that have been raised by the BII and others to the RICS.

We have the hackneyed expression Competent Operator, used with total disregard by virtually every pub owning company in the country, the RICS were totally unable to describe accurately what the definition, experience or qualifications required for a Competent Operator, various comments like a Resonably Efficient Operator, totally non specific.

In every other profession, you have various intermediate standards until you become a professional or qualified operator, the industry is the second oldest profession in the world yet we have no differing standards, the BII have various levels of proficiency, yet the companies that own the pubs have one standard which they base their trading conditions on, no wonder the failure rate is so high.

The BII have a Graduate Member, who has taken a basic qualification, an Associate Member who has taken a slightly more complex exam/course or possibly some managerial experience for at least a year, finally a Full Member who should have at least three years managerial experience and some qualifications or five years managerial experience and minimal qualifications.

The only qualification that would fit the trading conditions demanded by the pub owning companies would be a Full Member and that in many cases is questionable.

However, Bateman’s  define their standard as an Average Operator, this is equally as useless as Competent Operator without a specific definition, yet the BII accepted it, surely the people approving these COP’s have some knowledge of the problems within the industry or are they in a cloistered world of ignorance.

The BII are trying to raise the level of professionalism or claim to be, yet they allow this non classification to sail through leaving the requirements for raising professional standards and further training condemned to a few days initial training with minimal practical experience.

The Industry is losing the best operators through disillusionment and an inability to make a successful living, yet we need to make the Industry profitable and professional.

The only way that we will achieve that is by classifying people according to qualifications and successful experience.

They need to be provided with trading conditions that suit their experience to turn them into successful professionals.

We have to establish their compatability to the industry, ticking boxes at the end of a course establishes an intelligence level it does not make a professional.

There are to my mind three levels of licensee, a novice who requires further training and profitable practical experience up to at least a year, an intermediate who has received further training to develop his or her abilities and at least three years profitable trading, finally a mature experienced successful licensee who recognises where his abilities lie and can make a serious profit for himself and the company.

My client having owned a small Pub Company always ensured that limited experience people were put in pubs to suit their ability and with conditions that enabled them to make a profit, putting someone in a good pub with limited experience or capability is business suicide, continuous training is a prerequisite to success.

Brewers have returned to selling beer, they might like to consider their predecessors who were eminently successful and pubs were a career for life.

Legal Eagle

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

Poppleston Allen, Keep that Kitchen Clean

Keep That Kitchen Clean!

  • Date: 16/06/2010
  • Author/Solicitor: Graeme Cushion

 


A recent article in The Independent highlights once again the need for a proper cleaning regime within the kitchens of licensed premises.

According to the article, Chinese restaurants and take-aways are the most likely to have substandard hygiene practices than any other types of food operators.

The article cited that more than half of the Chinese outlets rated nationally were not up to scratch. Almost half of all Indian restaurants fared the same. Kebab shops were not much better, with a quarter of fish and chip shops being found to be substandard. In contrast, burger chains such as McDonalds and KFC were found to be very clean.

For those who are unfortunate enough to be prosecuted, fines are on the increase as well. A restaurant in Manchester was fined £70,000 in December!

With the number of people being hit by food poisoning on the rise, pressure to enforce is unlikely to go away. This means that operators need to be very wary indeed of the standards within their kitchens and premises generally, otherwise they will have to bear the consequences.

For more information please contact Graeme Cushion .

Barrel Dregs, whose at fault, Pub Co or Tenant???? (58)

There are still lambs going to the slaughter house in the interests of fullfilling their dreams.

Strangely its other Tenants that are acting as the goat that walks through the slaughterhouse in front of the lambs, and walks down the ramp the other end scott free.

Is it the Slaughter House, the Goat or the Lambs that are to blame.

Make your own mind up from the following true and salutory tale.

Enterprise Inns pub near Pot Boy in a major village within commuter distance of London.

Current Tenant been there for three years and despite all efforts, lost everthing in pursuit of the dream.

Pub on the market for about nine months at £85K.

In the end she accepted just under £40K.Pub is fully tied with three other soundly trading pubs in opposition (two part tied,one free of tie).

Pot Boy reckons that sales are about £200K with known rent at £38K.The pub is now a financial basket case and there are an alarming number of things that need repairing just looking up at the front of the place.

Anyway, back to the point.

The people that moved in two weeks ago have virtually no operational trade experience.

He is a chef with six years behind the stove ,she was an accounts manager in a Building Society.

They have both done a bit of bar work “to learn the trade” and they told PB that they both attended a three day residential training course.

Enterprise Inns were happy with their business plan, which going to change the food and increase trade,and promised them extensive trade support,which looks like expensive accountancy monitoring to PB.

Nobody seems to have said anything about putting  quite a big building back into good nick.

Within two weeks the trade has bombed.

She is a natural born fighter, unfortunately with the customers would you believe it.

He is scared stiff of front of house and produces pub grub food from the safety of his sanctuary, pardon, kitchen.

The part time bar staff,who were always paid cash money (dosen’t upset the benefits and all that ) have all gone because they were to be paid legit.

PB is looking at a pub proceeding swiftly to the scene of an immediate financial disaster.

So who is to blame,everybody or nobody.

Can’t fault the ex tenant for wanting to get out having lost everthing.

BUT she was for certain economical with the truth about the trade losses and never produced a proper set of accounts either to the Agent she used for the sale or the new people (PB has seen the Agents details-should have been signed off by Enid Blyton).

The new people have realised a dream in running their own business BUT didn’t get a survey done and produced a crackers business plan that was to any sane mind a no brainer.

Enterprise Inns are not the selling party,they didn’t select the new Tenant and have washed their hands in sterile water over what was said to who over the deal that was struck.

BUT they accepted a bonkers business plan, forgot about the repairs of the building (front looks pretty shabby so the back can’t be too clever),and are clearly happy with the level of experience and suitability of the new people who had the money,and produced rent in advance and the security deposit.

On balance Enterprise COULD have stopped the sale in its tracks BUT if they did the pub would have probably shut through insolvency (seemed to be on the knife edge) and who knows,the new people might have made a go of it.Behind the scenes you could blame other hidden culprits .

The rent was/is far too high and because of the tie, the retail sale price was always going to be  just too much (the beer was always the highest priced in the village until the last lady brought the prices in line and presumably crippled her margins).

Would it have been fair to the last tenant to stop the sale and let her take the financial slap in the kisser ?

Would it have been morally wrong to stop the new people from living the dream ?

SHOULD Enterprise make a judgement call on obvious lack of operational experience.On the last point, Pot boy says  a big big YES !!

Yet again a big property company that happens to own pubs,is at the center of a sticky web leading to the slow death of pubs that could so easily have been saved.

Back to the cellar this time with the tin hat on.

Pot Boy.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.

CAMRA, Greg Mulholland MP

   

    ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY SAVE THE PUB GROUP PRESS RELEASE

Greg Mulholland MP re-elected Chair of All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group

-Leeds North West MP to continue leadership of Parliamentary group

-Northampton South MP elected as a Vice Chair

Issued: Friday June 11th 2010

Status: For immediate use

The post election re-launch meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group on Wednesday June 9th was attended by over a dozen MPs and saw Greg Mulholland MP (for Leeds North West) elected as the Chair; and Brian Binley MP (for Northampton South) and Lord Bilston as joint Vice Chairs.

The meeting also appointed CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale to provide secretariat support to the Group and approved plans for the formation of a new Executive Committee of MPs and Peers.

Greg Mulholland MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, said:

‘In the last Parliament the Save the Pub Group was successful in persuading the Government to take seriously the threats facing Britain’s pubs. The Group will build on this success in the new Parliament by effective campaigning on a whole range of issues including beer taxation, planning law, and reform of the beer tie.

 

‘Early priorities for the Group include maintaining progress on reform of the beer tie, working with the new Government on the Decentralisation and Localism Bill which will introduce a Community Right to Buy for pubs threatened with closure and the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which will ban the below cost sale of alcohol.’

Jonathan Mail, CAMRA’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said:

‘CAMRA is looking forward to supporting the Save the Pub Group in its objective to preserve and protect the British Pub. CAMRA will also be supporting MPs to run pub campaigns in their local constituencies in partnership with pub licensees and pub goers. The Save the Pub Group will undoubtedly play a key role in ensuring the Coalition Government bring forward a package of policies to support and incentivise well-run pubs.’

Barrel Dregs, Data Protection and a BRM’s Dummy Laptop????? (56)

The BRM’s Dummy, or rather the BRM is a Dummy !

The other day in South London Pot Boy sat in on a meeting between a mate of his who is a Pubco tenant and his Partnership Liason Consultant, sorry, BRM in real speak.

Ever noticed how someone who is out of their depth or downright insecure needs a prop or a dummy as a comforter.

In this case its called  the BRM’s LAPTOP.

Its the line of defence or safety barrier between the Tenant and the Pubco/Brewer.

Its all powerful,all knowing and of course what is on the screen is HIDDEN.

BRMs (nearly without exception) are trained to sit straight opposite or at best at ninety degrees from the Tenant.

Pot Boy asked this particular BRM to sit on his side of the table which was politely and very firmly declined.

The conversation with Pot Boys mate the Tenant went something like this;

BRM-Broad came hither smile,arms crossed defensively across his chest, “Well less than six months to go before your rent review, we have pooled all of our thinking and in view of the tough times at present, we are thinking of only putting the rent up by only 12%”.

Tenant-“I cannot afford the rent at the moment,let alone any extra, anyway what ever made you think of any increase  being on the cards?”

BRM-“Lets see (slowly with due ceremony opens lap top, tap, tap, tap) lot of thought went into this one, yes only 12%, should have been more but I put my head on the block for you, argued your case and kept it as low as I could (tap, tap, tap)”

Tenant-“Yeah well OK, but how was it calculated”

BRM-“Can’t tell you, confidential, love to show you but there is some pretty sensitive company data in here (tap, tap).

Its also based on some of the other Company pubs in the area, their trading successes and comparing their rents so that we get a fair balance (tap, tap, tap)”.

Tenant-“Well I know all the pubs around here, they are all suffering just like me, which ones did you choose as the comparables ?”

BRM-“Can’t tell you (tap, tap) really would like to help you with that one, but you know how it is, strictly confidential (frowning and staring hard at the screen, tap, tap)”.

Tenant-“But what is the trade you are using as comparable ?”

BRM-“Confidential, sorry (tap, tap, tappity tap), Data Protection Act, powerful bit of law that, strict penalties attached, love to help, but there you go !”

Tenant-“How did you work out my expenses, because I have had some shocking bills to pay in the last few months”

BRM-Smiling a smooth corporate smile and peering over the top of the screen,”The Company has one of the best data bases in the industry, we used industry norms and reckon that 24% is about right seeing as how you are now pushing the hot plated food offer”. (PB-doncha just love BRM speak)

Tenant-“But thats bonkers, stark staring mad, how did you do the calculations ?”

BRM-(eyebrows furrow like a pair of caterpillars squirming in the sun, tappity tap, tap, tap) “Can’t tell you, confidential.You really don’t think that I can lay bare any of the competition sensitive information thats in here (tap, tappity, tap).”

The Tenant makes a lunge for the laptop, which by the skin of his teeth the BRM snaps shut and clutches to his chest, just like a breast plate.

Tenant looses his cool and tells the BRM in no uncertain terms to sling his hook there and then.

With the laptop closed the BRM looses all self assurance,and his cool as well, shouts at both of us that he is being intimidated, the violent attack will go on the record and anyway the Company ALWAYS WINS.

Pathetic way to negotiate anything let alone the pub’s rent.

Good job Pot Boy made a few quick notes of the conversation as soon as the BRM left.

Your livelihood in their laptop.

Pitiful seeing that the relationship is a so called PARTNERSHIP……..

Another day at the front.

Potboy

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsiblity for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made.