Monthly Archives: October 2011

CPL Training Ltd, E-learning course launch – Bar Excellence Programme

Bar Excellence Programme

The Marque of Excellence

Eyes in the back of our heads would be great, but a solid and thorough training course for new bar staff runs a close second.

CPL Training, in partnership with Cask Marque, the champions of quality cask ale, has launched a new e-learning package, the Bar Excellence Programme, which covers all the key knowledge areas and more practical skills needed to deliver a great service to your customers.

There’s a lot to take in when you first step behind a bar; as well as where the ice machine is, you’ll need a whole host of skills such as being able to deal with underage drinkers, serve the right measures and pour the perfect pint of beer.

Easy to follow and put together by Cask Marque’s leading industry experts, the course is ideal for anyone who is new to bar work or just wants to brush up on the latest standards and knowledge.

Paul Nunny, Executive Director of Cask Marque, says: “The course consists of a number of instructional videos followed by test questions which really cover the basic knowledge required exceptionally well.  Real life scenarios and practical tips are combined with legislation and insights from bar staff to create an invaluable resource.”

As the leading training company for the hospitality industry, CPL Training believes this course to be one of the most important in recent years.

Paul Chase, Director of Compliance at CPL Training comments: “Getting the basics right can make the difference between a hugely successful business and one that fails. This course allows you to immediately ‘tick-off’ one of the biggest challenges – ‘Do my staff or the staff I want to employ know how bar service should be done?’”

Paul Nunny agrees; “We wanted to work with CPL Training as their online platform really opens up the opportunity for training to many more people than we could ever reach before.”

The course is available anywhere you have an Internet connection – 24/7. It is a must have for induction programmes but also for staff refreshers as it is quick to do and you can fit it in around your usual shift patterns. Please visit www.barexcellence.co.uk for further details or contact Paul Nunny at paul@nunny.fsbusiness.co.uk  or on 01206 752212

John Gaunt & Partners, Monthly Licensing Update

 
Welcome to our October UpdateHere is our October update on matters of topical interest, summarising some of the items which have both been posted to the news section of our website over the past month. As always and where appropriate, please click on the titles below to view the original articles as posted to the website.

If you have any queries or indeed would wish others to be included in the circulation of these monthly updates, please e-mail us here.

 

She Shoots, She Scores – or does she?The Judgment in the long running Karen Murphy/Sky case was handed down by the ECJ on 4th October.

The final decision in the case lies with the High Court to whom Judgment was directed and the full ramifications of the Judgment and how Sky will respond have yet to be seen. For more detail, click on the link above.

 

BST ends 30 October 2011British Summer Time ends at 02.00 this Sunday. This means that at 02.00 on Sunday 30 October, the time becomes 01.00 and premises entitled to trade to 02.00 or later can enjoy an extra hour of trade (unless there is something specific on a Premises Licence preventing this).

 

Tobacco Vending Machines – Clarification At the present time, the ban on Tobacco Vending Machines is only effective in England. Scotland, Wales (now confirmed as coming into force on 1 February 2012) and Northern Ireland await implementation of the ban – link above.

 

Fake I.D.Sheffield has been pioneering an enforcement campaign in respect of fake I.D. with over 700 under aged being caught during recent months. It is said that the Home Office are looking to roll out similar enforcement procedures elsewhere.

 

Diamond Jubilee – Proposed Licensing RelaxationThe Home Office has launched consultation which expires 1 December, 2011 and which, if approved, will allow on-licensed premises in England and Wales to open until 01.00 on the nights of Friday 1 June and Saturday 2 June next year.

The consultation can be found by clicking the title above.

 

Regulated Entertainment – Government Consultation A reminder that the consultation launched by DCMS on the wide spread de-regulation of regulated entertainment expires 3rd December 2011. We urge all operators to respond to this generally, encouraging consultation, if only to seek to achieve some balance against those who will undoubtedly be opposed to what is proposed.

 

All Change at the SIA?More detail has been released about the new body which will replace the SIA (but which will be known as the SIA!). Link above.

 

Live Music Bill – UpdateThe Private Members Bill concerning the relaxation of live music restrictions in licensed premises has completed its passage before the House of Lords and is now at the House of Commons.

 

Proposed Code of Practice for Poker in Pubs AnnouncedThis consultation issued by the Gambling Commission is aimed at all gaming activity in pubs (including Poker) and runs until 3 January 2012.

 

Gaming AgainThere has been a suggestion from Tourism Minister John Penrose that the Government will look to reinstate the tri-annual review for stakes and prizes for gaming machines that used to be in place prior to the Gambling Act 2005. He also announced the Government’s intention to publish their conclusions to the consultation on Gaming Machine Duty on 6 December – we will further update.

 

Gambling Enforcement and PubsIt looks likely that we will see increased enforcement supported by the Gambling Commission in respect of pubs and bars, particularly following the issue of the latest bulletin from the Gambling Commission to Local Authorities. This might be a time to re-visit due diligence in respect of these areas.

 

ChristmasYou will not need us to tell you that there are now less than 2 months to go until Christmas. The procedure for occasional extensions is different in England and Wales from Scotland. For more detail, click on the link above.

 

And finally …October saw the record number of daily hits to our website with, on one day, our news section receiving over 800 visits. We thank you for your continued support.

We are currently in the process of changing the content on our website to make it even more comprehensive than it is now, and more user friendly. So if you have any suggestions or feedback on our website or newsletters we would be glad to hear from you. You can follow this link to email us.

Robert Sayles, answer to the BII Pre Entry Exam, Barrel-dregs (209)

Pub Tenants Pre Entry Questionaire

Are you a lamb to the slaughter?

Neil Robertson recently stated that the prospect of naive new tenants entering the trade was a major source of concern.

With this in mind I’ve devised a questionnaire so that those thinking about entering the trade can gauge whether or not they fully understand what they’re getting themselves into.

Simply read the questions and select the most appropriate response.

1. The pubco says the pub you’re looking at is a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity.

Do you:

a) Sign there and then before someone else beats you to it.

b) Point out that’s it’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity for three other tenants in the past twelve months.

2. Your pubco suggest a refurbishment would benefit your business.

Do you:

a) Give them the go-ahead to proceed with the project.

b) Realise they can’t afford to invest in their dilapidated run down pubs and are merely looking for a mug to foot the bill.

3. How would you describe your BDM?

a) A parental figure, always ready to offer guidance and support.

b) A lying, duplicitous rogue who possesses scruples that would make a second hand car salesman appear positively saintly.

4. Your BDM rings you to say he has some exciting ideas to help you grow your business.

Do you:

a) Wait with bated breath for his spellbinding words of wisdom.

b) Point out that you already sell coffee and give him some suggestions as to what he can do with his input.

5. Your other half looks out of the window and exclaims “Oh sh*t, the bailiffs are here!”

Do you:

a) Assume they’re popping in for a pint and a friendly chat.

b) Run to the tool box, grab the hammer and start nailing things down.

6. The pubco claims that signing an agreement with them entitles you to lots of countervailing benefits.

Do you:

a) Visualise van loads of goodies arriving on a regular basis.

b) Realise it’s complete bollocks and resign yourself to receiving buggar all.

7. The rental agreement offered by the pubco is linked to RPI.

Do you:

a) Assume this link ensures rental premiums can go down as well as up.

b) Acknowledge it’s merely a ploy to ensure your rent heads north whilst volumes continue their journey southwards.

8. The pubco informs you that their tenants are very happy will the tie.

Do you:

 a) Assume all the bad press about the tie is mere scaremongering from the anti-pubco faction.

b) Conclude that the tie merely incentivises pubcos to raise beer prices on a regular basis to inflate profits.

9. The pubco suggest that signing a lease is advantageous as it’s a secure agreement

Do you:

a) Assume this offers your business the stability it needs going forward.

b) Be aware that there is no way out as it will be virtually impossible to assign.

10. The pubco tells you an FOT option is available.

Do you:

a) Conclude that pubcos have finally come to their senses and are willing to offer you a fairer deal.

b) Recognise that they’re looking to secure margin in a falling market by hiking dry rent.

11. The BDM informs you that the rental premium meets RICS guidelines.

Do you:

 a) Assume the BDM is familiar with current RICS recommendations on rent setting.

b) Realise that he’s merely taken the rent paid by the previous tenant and added 10%.

12. You wish to purchase an assignment. The property agent asks you for a non-refundable deposit.

Do you:

 a) Pay the fee, secure in the knowledge that it offers protection against gazumping.

b) Walk away as it’s obvious that the agent’s primary focus is on securing a lucrative upfront fee.

13. The pubco states that you’re obliged to purchase your buildings insurance from them.

Do you:

a) Assume that with their buying power you’ll get a good deal.

b) Recognise that it’s merely another money making scam and resign yourself to being charged double the market rate.

14. You’re informed that after two years you’ll be able to assign your lease.

Do you:

a) Anticipate selling the business on for a tidy profit.

b) Check to see if the lease contains a clause which ensures you’ll still be responsible for the business long after you’ve moved on.

15. The pubco insists that being tied for AWPs is beneficial for you.

Do you:

a) Assume they know what they’re talking about.

b) Suspect they’re still trousering 75% of the profits and ask for proof of a rent reduction.

16. Your BDM tells you that the FMT level set is both realistic and achievable.

Do you:

a) Acknowledge that he knows rather more about the outlet than you.

b) Suspect the figure is vastly inflated to justify the onerous rental premium.

17. The pubco tells you that they’re paying out millions to support tenants during these difficult times.

Do you:

a) Wait expectantly for a cheque to arrive through the post.

b) Realise that the money is being used to prop up increasing numbers of pubs farmed out to holding companies.

18. Your BDM says you don’t need to carry out a survey as the pubco conducts one at each changeover.

Do you:

a) Forego the survey to save a few bob.

b) Ignore your BDM’s advice because he’ll be long gone when you finally move out and you’ll be clobbered with inflated dilaps.

19. A gentleman from Brulines arrives and accuses you of buying out.

Do you:

a) Assume there’s been a mistake but do nothing when the pubco deduct money from your account.

b) Remind the gentleman that the equipment is unfit for purpose and inform your pubco that you’ll see them in court.

20. You are trying to obtain a rent reduction and the pubco recommend PIRRS.

Do you:

a) Agree in the hope that it will result in a favourable outcome.

b) Realise the system is heavily biased in favour of pubcos and opt for arbitration.

How did you score?

A answer = 1 point

B answer = 2 points

20 – 28 – Lamb to the slaughter.

Just save yourself a lot of pain and heartache and hand over the house keys now. Let’s face it; they’re going to get them eventually anyway.

29 – 36 – Some way to go.

You’re wising up but still prone to moments of gullibility.

37 – 40 – A street wise publican.

Well done! It’s unlikely anybody’s going to pull the wool over your eyes.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.

Alliance Online Catering Equipment – suppliers of Pub and Bar Equipment to the Licensed Industry

 

 

 

Pot Boy has Admiral Taverns in his sights, Barrel-Dregs (208)

Admiral Taverns, and we all thought they were improving???

Pot Boy South is becoming more alarmed than before at the attitude of Admiral Taverns to keeping their ‘business partners’ well and truly alive. Admiral are the supposedly touchy feely good guys of the Pubco morass but they seem to have a major problem with product discounting, especially the main National brands from which they get huge wholesale profits, say up to £240 per barrel. Currently across the Admiral estate there are no discounts at all. If you plead for some help, there’s nothing in the cupboard at all. Unlike Punch who seem to start at £40 per barrel being easily on offer and Enterprise at £35 per barrel. Enterprise ‘Business Recovery’ schemes in the short term are up to £150 per barrel. 

So EI and Punch basic discounting is not very much you might think, but in this day and age of skinny margins to survive, if you have a 200 barrel pub, £40 per barrel is like having a rent subsidy of £8000.To a few of Pot Boy’s AT mates that is the difference between survival and going down the tubes. One of the ‘Loyal’ Admiral field troops came clean to Pot Boy the other day. Seems that there is a three line whip out that under no circumstance should any discounts be given and rents must, absolutely must, be kept at the current levels or go up a bit. 

Seems AT have been keeping a snakes belly low profile as to just how bad things really are in the bottom half of their estate. Beer sales are dropping off a cliff and the wholesale income that they desperately need to service their toxic debt is falling likewise. Bankers are expressing concern at the consistent fall in income to keep their banking covenants sound. Things are very tough indeed and Admiral are battening down the hatches. Just how deep in the Do Do they are at AT that they seem hell bent on seeing their loyal lessees go belly up first. Head in the sand stuff solves nothing if this double dip recession keeps on getting worse. The tenantable goose will not keep laying golden eggs.  

Where does this AT lack of foresight lead. Punch and Enterprise are to a small degree facing up to a few realities, but on the grounds that your survival is in line with their Corporate thinking to suit them not the tenant. For instance, convert your Whitbread guest ale lease to an Enterprise Retail Partnership Agreement and we will bring down your rent. Same with Punch and the Growth lease. Usual bo****ks,” we want to standardize all of the very many leases in our estate”. Extend your part tie to a full tie, and again we will bring down the rent a bit. The reality is that we will give you what looks like financial help with one hand, but rob you blind with the other by taking away any non controllable financial edge you might have had with the old lease. Good old Dick Turpin stuff.

Back to Admiral, there’s an increasingly nasty smell creeping up through the floorboards, despite the very seemingly friendly Code of Practice document that met with uniform approval of Arthur and his Round Table of Pubco acolytes over at the BII. Tenant survival? That is never mentioned in any COP document, so that’s OK then! Statements of intent are all very fine, but it occurs to Pot Boy South that when the sky is darkening with chickens coming home to the AT roost, its the tenants that will be toast first, not the boys at Admiral. All too predictable.

Watch this space and back to the cellar.

Pot Boy South.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.

Alliance Online Catering Equipment – suppliers of Pub and Bar Equipment to the Licensed Industry

More BBPA Twaddle makes the Press Headlines, Barrel-Dregs (207)

BBPA Twaddle, absolutely on form.

The BBPA via that Boadicea of the Pub Co’s, dear old Brigid Simmonds has written to every MP about her wonderful caring clients.

The rents have come down by 20%, only after a limited amount of Surveyors took her clients to Arbitration, kicking and screaming to win the day.

The rents that came down by 20% by the kindness of the Pub Co’s left some of their lessees owning virtually nothing, having made over the F & F to their landlords, their cash flows non existant, because they were on cash with or before order, the stories are endless.

The majority of closures were down to Retailer Failure because the trading conditions imposed by the Pub Co’s  were far too stringent.

Dear old Brigid Simmonds as a wordsmith is second to none for making Silk Purse out of a Sows Ear, and a very battered  Sow at that.

Sadly people that know nothing about the industry believe this twaddle, if it is pumped out often enough, which the BBPA do regardless of the consequences.

The following is an extract from the Morning Advertiser

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has written to every MP to refute claims from the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC) that the beer tie is causing pubs to close.

 

MPs: received letter from BBPA

BISC’s damning report, released last month, concluded that most of the steps put in place to reform the pubco/tenant relationship have not worked. It called for an independent adjudicator to monitor pubco codes of conduct.

In the letter to MPs, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said BISC “failed to appreciate the meaningful reforms undertaken by the wider industry since 2010 and the difficult conditions in which we operate”.

“The smoking ban, economic recession and the 35% increase in beer taxation which the industry has endured since March 2008 are the main causes of pubs closing – factors which have affected all pubs.

“However, since 2008 data demonstrates that a lower number of tied pubs have closed when compared with their independent equivalents – with pub rents falling by 20% on average in response to the economic downturn.

“The Select Committee has failed to consider these lower tied pub closure rates, which are in part the result of the £265m invested by pub companies in the last year alone to support their pubs during testing times.

“They have also ignored the vital role the tie plays in the business model of Britain’s regional and family brewers, unlike the 2009 report which made clear they ‘would not wish to damage regional brewers’.”

The letter outlined steps taken by the trade since BISC’s 2010 report.

This includes all but three codes of practice having been independently accredited, the arrival of new training schemes for incoming tenants and business development managers, the low-cost rent arbitration scheme, a new business advice service, and a list of benchmarking costs for pubs being published on the BBPA’s website.

The letter warns: “To legislate now for a statutory code and a bureaucratic adjudicator would pile more costs onto pubs and lead to more closures — something we hope ministers will consider carefully when they respond to the Committee’s recommendations and Martin Horwood’s Private Member’s Bill [calling for a statutory code of practice to be introduced forcing pubcos of more than 500 sites to give tenants a free-of-tie option and an open-market rent review].

“The sector needs less tax and less regulation, not more, if it is to continue to create jobs and sustain much needed economic growth in our communities.”

The Government is expected to respond to BISC’s recommendations by the end of November.

 Cellarman

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.

 

 

Fleurets, have they finally Lost the Plot? Barrel-Dregs (206)

Fleurets, have they finally Lost the Plot?

A funny Old World, you have an image of a national company as being totally honest, correct, above reproach, then something happens and you wonder what actually goes on behind the façade.

I have always owned freehouses and the odd bit of commercial property, which did not qualify me to be an authority on the leased and tenanted pub industry.

My dealings with the two of the major commercial agents in the pub industry has never ever been satisfactory, Fleurets and Christies, they normally told me that whatever I was interested in was beyond my price range and whatever I wanted to sell was not their sort of property.

They may well have been right, I did make an offer at the asking price for a pub Christies were selling some years ago, and the offer was accepted and solicitors instructed, to be told after a few weeks, that I had to submit a sealed bid, which I did increasing my offer by a third, to be told that my offer was by far the highest and it was mine again.

Only to be told a few days later that they had sold it to a lower bidder and the then Chairman of Christies sent me a derisory cheque for £100 for my inconvenience.

Needless to say I have never ever done business with Christies again.

Fleurets probably may have thought of me as a bargain hunter, which I certainly was and their distaste for my sort was probably justified.

Fleurets lapsed into a memory in my past life, until I went to BII Rent Roadshow a few years ago.

Where the Chairman of Fleurets, Barry Gillham was giving a presentation on Rent Assessment, bearing in mind that I had no idea of the basis that pub rents were calculated on.

The whole experience was mind boggling, the learned Mr. Gillham expounded his theories on the use of Comparables over a ten mile radius, which to anyone who has seriously run pubs is laughable, every pub is different and the expectation of generating some enormous boost of business based on something ten miles away is pure fantasy, plus the fact that any growth is seriously at the cost of another business, since available business is finite and not infinite.

He failed to answer any questions on straight forward business logic and it was patently obvious that he had never run or understood the individual vagaries of  pubs.

His premise was that all pubs were the same or similar and it was a lucrative numbers game, which he had a massive bag full of numbers provided by his clients, that brooked no argument.

He made the mistake of sitting next to me at lunch, possibly thinking that I was a surveyor, after priming him on a number of issues he admitted that his fees some years ago were in excess of £300.00 per hour, which he ensured that I knew the Pub Co’s were and are his clients, the lessees are dealt with by the more junior members of his staff, who charge lesser fees, would they argue a point with the Chairman or MD of a major surveyors company, very questionable.

However I have one thing to be grateful to Mr. Gillham for, his failure to provide sensible answers to a number of practices that I and others raised to the RICS and have been changed, and some are still under discussion, it has made me determined with others to bring a totally fair method of rent calculation to the industry for both sides, though there shouldn’t be sides.

My next run in with Fleurets, again was a BII Rating Road Show with very learned Mr. Yaz, Fleurets Rating Expert, and a top Inland Revenue Valuation Officer.

The Road Show was proceeding well until Comparables and FMT was mentioned, I had just been to the RICS and raised my usual points about Comparables Ratcheting Rents higher at every turn and that business was finite etc, if they raise the rateable value based on this concept are they going to reduce the rateable value of the pub that has lost the business.

The audience loved it and the questions came thick and fast the learned Mr. Yaz stood there with his mouth open and eventually the BII tried to change the topic, since it was patently obvious Mr. Yaz like Mr. Gillham could not find a suitable response.

Mr. Yaz declined to talk to me but the Inland Revenue Officer sought me out and said “You are absolutely right”.

He had never thought about it from that view point, the reason being that none of these people have ever run pubs and the vagaries of individual pubs and communities and the multitude of reasons affecting individual businesses.

I raised the other favourite issue which is FMT, if the over estimation of FMT was applied across the country we would need almost double the brewing capacity, yet these so called professional buffoons persist in their flawed methods, naively assuming that individual businesses will accept their guesstimations, which a lot do, and nobody will collectively add up the total discrepancy for all the FMT’s.

These highly speculative guesstimations are based on an REO (Reasonably Efficient Operator), but looking at it logically, if everyone in the industry is an REO, they would all be under performing, because there is insufficient business to satisfy these FMT demands, we know that there is little or no growth, in fact a substantial drop in business in many areas, yet these companies that act for the Pub Co’s choose, for financial reasons to ignore the true reality of the industry and the effects of the recession, if they were truly committed professionals they would tell their clients the real truth about trying to maintain impossible FMT’s and unsustainable rents, but again they would be “Killing  their Cash Cow.”

The abuse and misuse of Comparables, FMT and the REO have caused rents in both the tenanted and leased sectors to go far beyond true viability in far too many cases, the failure rate goes undisclosed in the larger companies, unfortunately many surveyors acting for these Pub Co’s, their zeal goes beyond the reality of an individual situation, winning for a client and extortionate fees are killing the industry along with many good operators careers.

Finally we come to the learned Mr. William Cuthbert of Fleurets, a man of extreme intellect and upstanding, possibly in this particular case suffering some sort of selective Corporate Amnesia of the real world as firmly underscored by Parliament.

Fleurets would appear to be retained by that outstanding company Enterprise Inns, whose shares if they go any lower will be tunnelling underground in the not too distant future.

Sadly we cannot publish the learned Mr. Cuthberts exact words owing to the rules of the Arbitration, requiring both sides permissiom, which one side would never give.

Quote from an astonished observer.

“Fleurets have so deeply taken the orders of Pubcos that in a recent Arbitration, William Cuthbert of Fleurets chose to denigrate a Chartered Surveyor who was previously an active member of Fair Pint. He was in the firing line for standing up for the RICS Guidelines to the good of his Client who just happened to be a Pubco Tenant. More like the Pot calling the Kettle Black, I would say, as Fleurets are the idealogical opposition to Pubco Tenants as they are so regularly enjoying their fee benevolance from Enterprise Inns.”

The learned Mr. Cuthbert would appear to have not read or noticed the substantial Press Coverage that there has been on the two BISC’s Inquiries into his clients activities with a resounding condemnation of their actions, with a recommendation of enforceable legislation.

The RICS have changed their Valuation Guide Lines, the Chief Rent Controller for Enterprise Inns is no longer the Chairman of the TRVG.

Fair Pint is a small organization that looks after the welfare of many lessees and tenants in trouble, it is committed to removing the tie, possibly for companies that do not brew beer and to improve the Industry, not to perpetuate a failed and flawed business model, which Fleurets would appear to be endorsing by acting for a Pub Co already under severe Government scrutiny.

Fair Pint’s evidence did not cause any condemnation or scathing comments from the BISC’s unlike Mr. Cuthberts clients, or maybe Mr. Cuthbert exists in a world of discreet exclusivity, where the trade press and the actions of Government Committees do not register.

With my experiences with Fleurets, the people that I have met would appear to think that they are untouchable, the world has changed and it will change considerably more.

Certainly the other Chartered Surveyor has far too much professional integrity to even consider writing a comment on the bottom of a submission to an Arbitrator stating something to the effect, “Fleurets Clients are under severe scrutiny and condemnation by the two last BISC’s Inquiries, Mr. Cuthbert’s actions and involvement with their Client raises serious questions over his possible integrity in acting for them and should be treated with a degree of circumspection”.

If I was the other Surveyor and as a former brief member of the RICS many years ago,  I would certainly write to the RICS with a justifiable complaint about Mr. Cuthbert’s lack of professional integrity or maybe integrity does not exist with companies acting for the larger Pub Co’s.

Barfly

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.

Please view our other web site for Information, Help and Advice www.usenumberone.com

 

 

A Sobering Thought on the cause of our Economic Woes. Barrel-Dregs (205)

 World Economy as seen from Heidi’s Bar

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit .

She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholicsand, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.

To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans).

Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit ..

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her
prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral!!!

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS.

These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AAA Secured Bonds” really are debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb!!!, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Heidi’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINK BOND prices drop by 90%.

The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the BOND securities.

They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, nondrinkers who have never been in Heidi’s bar.

Now do you understand?

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.

 

Alliance Online Catering Equipment – suppliers of Pub and Bar Equipment to the UK trade

Pubs deserve better! Justice for Licensees

Pubs deserve better!

Posted by Inez Ward    on October 13

  Press release – for immediate release

Justice for Licensees applauds and fully supports the robust, balanced and informed Business Innovations and Skills Committee Report into Pubcos (1). The report is a well balanced, honest and fair assessment of the situation.

It is clear that the pubcos have failed to heed the warnings and have failed miserably in ensuring that recommendations were listened to and acted upon, self regulation has proven to be an ignominious failure, with the licensees and the pubs of this land bearing the brunt of the cost with loss of homes and livelihoods and the closure of pubs which are the hub of their communities.  It is apparent that satisfactory reform has not been forthcoming and therefore the only satisfactory conclusion is that there is an immediate need for a robust statutory code incorporating the recommendations of the previous committees and most importantly to include a genuine Free of Tie option, where the tenant may purchase products from whomever he so chooses, with an open market rent review following RICS rental guidance by the word and in spirit.

Justice for Licensees was rather concerned to learn that, according to the Publicans Morning Advertiser, the government are looking for the pubcos to prove that they can enact further reforms (2), the pubcos have had since 2004 to prove that they can reform and have failed at a severe cost to the pubs, it is unacceptable that an icon such as the Great British Pub should be jeopardised any further (3). That said it is encouraging that more and more MP’s and Ministers are realising that a genuine Free of Tie option with an open market rent review is the only plausible solution.

Inez Ward, founder of Justice for Licensees said ” The response from some pubcos and their affiliates (4 & 5) is rather disappointing and would appear to be ill thought out and somewhat petulant and once again fails to address the concerns raised by four select committees, we would urge the pubcos to seriously consider the findings of the select committees and do their utmost to repair the damage caused to the sector by their actions. The pub is important to the communities that they serve, play a pivotal role in social cohesion, aid the national economy and many trades that rely on the pub for their own revenue streams, they aid many charities and provide a platform for careers, the pub deserves better, much better, it is time for a new dawn, for a mutually beneficial model whose interests lie in the icon that is the Great British Pub.”

Ends

Editor notes:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk…

2 http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Ge…

3 http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Ge…

4 http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Ge…

5 http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Ge…

Category: JFL

Freedom2choose Newsletter, more Info from around the World on Smoking

Freedom2choose Newsletter

 

 

 


October Newsletter

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 03:00 PM PDT



Outgoing Chairman’s message

Greetings folks.

Sad to say this is my last Chairman’s message as ill health is forcing me to step down as my friend & colleague Dave Atherton will take over the reins, with me in the background for 6 months.

I have enjoyed my 21 months, leading f2c through some murky waters but f2c is now definitely a force to be reckoned with. We have created 2 superb surveys here and here. We have also been a constant thorn in the sides of anti-tobacco.

I think the greatest achievement was the complete annihilation of one Councillor Paul Bartlett. Following Dick Puddlecote’s lead, f2c, blogosphere, anti bansters and excellent speakers (including our own Roger Helmer), turned out to send a strong message, but I think the most fascinating moment was when the locals marched in and joined the protest! Freedom of speech and democracy at its very best. It was a proud, proud moment.

Our Phil

That wonderful achievement has been bettered by the news that Councillor Bartlett has now received a vote of “no confidence” from his fellow councillors. Hitler died in his bunker and it looks very much like Bartlett has done likewise! And all for the right to have freedom2choose for oneself!

I thank you all for your support over the past 21 months and hope that you will support Dave as you have supported me. I shall be taking up the pubs & clubs mantle again shortly.

Bless you all.
Phil J


Incoming Chairman’s Message

A welcome from new Joint Chairman Dave Atherton.

It is an honour and privilege to be invited to be Joint Chairman of Freedom2Choose. Trying to follow the footsteps of Phil Johnson is going to be particularly hard after all his fine achievements. F2C are a respected and credible campaigning group who are feared and respected by ASH and the Global Tobacco Link, which include junk scientists such as Professor Linda Bauld and Dr. Anna Gilmore.

There are considerable challenges. The smoking ban goes unamended – in fact it has been more embedded; the display ban has not been repealed either. Plain packaging, vending machines, outside smoking and bans in cars are all on the agenda.

However, I sense that smoker-phobia may have reached its zenith. The anti-smoker crowd, with all its hubris, has decided to include drinking and, to a lesser extent, obesity in its quest for the perfect body. F2C has been particularly successful in getting the message out to the public that “it’s you next.”

I feel with the current team we can only go from strength to strength and we can turn the tide of the anti-smokers.


Smoking in Films

An automatic ‘18’ certificate for all films showing characters smoking is the latest call from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. This follows naturally from research carried out by the Centre’s Bristol branch, which claims to show that, “Smoking in films remains a major and persistent driver of smoking uptake among children and young people, which the actions of irresponsible film makers, incompetent regulators and insouciant politicians are abjectly failing to control.”

Said an incompetent regulator, “”Experience suggests …that attempts to claim a causal link between a particular depiction and a particular behaviour are often disputed and seldom conclusive.”

And from an insouciant politician, “The Government believes the current arrangements provide sufficient control on the depiction of smoking in films and a total ban would be a disproportionate interference.”

While most reports were reasonably well-balanced, for the Scotsman’s Michael Kelly a total ban on smoking on both large and small screens is still not enough. He calls for police harassment of smokers, banning smokers from congregating outside offices and vilifying pregnant smokers.

Junk Science
Smoking causes kidney stones. According to urology consultant Noor Buchholz there’s been a doubling in kidney stone diagnoses since 2006, which he puts down to an increase in poor lifestyle choices, including smoking. Dr. Buchholz really should keep up with the script.
***
Men who give up smoking “experienced greater sexual arousal and became excited more quickly compared to non-quitters” according to this University of Texas study. Sadly, the quitters didn’t seem to notice any improvement in the bedroom.
***
A Northumbria University study claims that smokers have a poorer memory than non-smokers. The experimenters divided a troupe of potential students into smoking, ex-smoking and non-smoking groups and got them to recall what tasks they had been asked to perform during a tour of the university.

The report does not say which group actually performed best at those tasks.

NSD Charity Loses Grant
The charity ‘No Smoking Day’, after learning of the projected loss of half of its funding when a £250,000 grant from the Department of Health ends in March 2012, has been forced to merge with the charity ‘British Heart Foundation’.
No Smoking Day

members 2010 – 2011

Grants and donations from
ASH, ASH Scotland, ASH Wales
British Dental Health Foundation
British Heart Foundation
British Medical Association
Cancer Research UK
Cardio Wellness Charity
Department of Health
Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland
Marie Curie Cancer Care
National Assembly for Wales Health Promotion Division
QUIT
Royal Society for Public Health
Ulster Cancer Foundation
ASH Wales

British Heart Foundation

Cancer Research UK

Department of Health
Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland

Welsh Assembly Government Health Promotion Division

Ulster Cancer Foundation

Income = £418,466
Quote of the Month
When the smoke started to fill the air, a transformation came over the place. It was no longer somewhere to go for a drink. It was a pub – a proper pub.
Pubs

Some questionable statistics from CamRA over the number of pubs that are closing. The real ale quaffers put that figure at 2 per day, with the blame lying entirely on high taxation, ‘cheap’ supermarket booze and unsustainable pubco practices. Guardian columnist Christine Bohan asks, “…is this especially bad news?”

The British Beer and Pub Association disagrees that the majority of closures are in the tenanted sector: “All types of pubs are facing very high taxes… and too much red tape.”

The competence of the British Beer and Pub Association came in for criticism from the Business Select Committee that has been looking at the ‘half-hearted’ way in which Pubcos have responded to previous parliamentary demands for reform. Self-regulation has not worked, so legislation is on the cards, along with the creation of a ‘Pubs Tsar’

And, if all that fails, The Cask Report has proof that real ales will turn the pub industry’s fortunes around.

Meanwhile, in West Yorkshire, the newly-formed Otley Pub Club is putting its faith in Facebook to save its 17 pubs. Club founder, Peter Jackson, a former publican himself, cites the smoking ban first in his list of reasons for ‘inevitable closures’

So too do insolvency experts Cranfield Business Recovery, who warn of further losses for Sports and Social Clubs as the ban continues to bite. The Working Mens Club and Institute Union has seen its membership tumble by almost half since July 2007.

Plain Packaging

Two findings from the Institute of Social Marketing are being used to bolster support for plain packaging and display bans.

Stirling University’s Institute of Social Marketing, currently locked in a FOI wrangle with Philip Morris, has released ‘evidence’ to justify the case for plain packaging. In a ‘naturalistic’ experiment, it was found that women, in particular, were reluctant to display plain packs in public and so reduced their consumption. Despite the study being described as ‘too small to produce statistical significance’ by the Institute’s director, Gerard Hastings, its lead author confidently states that, “The study confirms the lack of appeal of plain packs, with the enjoyment and consumption of cigarettes being reduced.”

A second study from the very same department claims that tobacco displays encourage children to take up the habit. The discovery that one in eight of them finds point-of-sale displays ‘attractive’ is described as ‘a real concern’. The lead researcher then goes on to give the agenda away: the study “reinforces the importance of putting those displays out of sight.”

For a more realistic appraisal of plain packaging, Rich White, in the Guardian, argues that such a measure will, “only make it easier for criminal outfits to mimic a packet” and, as he says, “the criminals selling them will not require identification proving the buyer to be over 18 – rates might even increase.”

The UN Summit on Public Health and NCDs

The United Nations has only ever met to discuss public health on two occasions. The first summit, in 2001, came in response to HIV/AIDS; the second, held last month in New York, dealt exclusively with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their causes.

NCDs (mainly) All caused by…
Cancer
Diabetes
Heart disease
Stroke
Sedentary lifestyles, Junk food, Smoking and Alcohol

NCDs are on the rise in developing countries. Greater national wealth creates longer life expectancy, but it also allows easier access to life’s pleasures and it is this second consideration that organisations like the NCD Alliance are blaming for a corresponding rise in NCDs or – as they were once called – ‘age-related diseases’.

Of interest is the emerging pressure from lobbyists to demonise the food and drinks industries, in much the same way that the tobacco companies are now treated.

Paul Lincoln of the UK Chronic Disease and Development Taskforce says, “What we need is a firewall so that these industries are not involved in the development of policy and strategy, because clearly they have other interests.”

Ann Keeling of the NCD Alliance says, “We absolutely agree the private sector has to have a regulated or possibly no role in policy development,”

To the disappointment of over 100 lobbying groups who agree with the above statements, the United Nations is keen to continue working ‘in partnership’ on voluntary agreements with the private sector.

Britain’s Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, presented a speech in which he outlined the coalition’s ‘nudge’ agenda, “helping individuals to make better choices about their own health.” Singing from the same hymnsheet was Professor Martin Wiseman, “…our society works in a way that discourages people from adopting healthy habits. But this summit offers the chance to look at public health issues at the international level.”

Our one-world government at work.
Smuggling

Philip Morris has been conducting research into the nation’s smoking habits, by picking through high street rubbish bins and counting the dog ends. Earlier results, out in August, put St. Helens, Lancashire, in top position with almost 1 in 6 discarded cigarettes of illegal origin. Derby is trailing with a proportion of almost 1 in 7, although this is still higher than the national average which currently stands at a tad under 1 in 7.5.

The UK Government has introduced ‘tough new measures’ to tackle tobacco smuggling, coinciding with the lower Minimum Indicative Levels that came into force on 1st October. These are the amounts of cigarettes and rolling tobacco brought into the country from Europe that arouse UKBA suspicion of smuggling.

Meanwhile, Irish Revenue Commissioners have admitted that they cannot eliminate smuggling, now at record levels in the Republic. Their policy is to ‘contain’ the problem by focusing on the retail sector.

A Nudge towards Vaping

The Orwellian-sounding Behavioural Insight Team (aka ‘the Nudge Unit’) is recommending the use of e-cigarettes. For those who enjoy sucking on plastic this is undoubtedly welcome news – as it is for those publicans who see e-cigarettes as a potential ally in the battle for footfall.

For those of us who prefer our nicotine as God (and Imperial) designed it, however, there is a worrying nugget of reasoning buried within the Nudge Unit’s first annual report. ‘Vaping’, they say, could be a useful means of, “…helping smokers who refuse to give up their habit to manage their nicotine addiction.”

This is an echo of last March’s White Paper on Tobacco Control, which talks of ‘helping’ smokers who are ‘unwilling or unable to quit…’. And, back in February 2010, there it is again: in the Labour government’s tobacco control strategy, with its need to, “manage their [reluctant quitters’] nicotine addiction, using a safer alternative product, [and to] dramatically reduce the damage to their health… by using a safer alternative to smoking.”

The source for this policy appears to spring from a 2008 Royal College of Physicians report, which expressly wanted to…

encourage smokers to switch as completely as possible to use of medicinal nicotine in place of smoking.

before adding…

A secondary objective is then to encourage as many medicinal nicotine users as possible to quit all nicotine use

At the time that the RCP report was published, e-cigarettes were a little-known entity; the jury – aka the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group – was out. Within two years, the RCP’s mouthpiece – aka ASH – had released a grudging statement in support of ‘vaping’. Their reasoning:

…many people either do not wish to stop smoking or find it very hard to do so. For this group, we believe that products should be made available that deliver nicotine in a safe way…
News from Scotland

Brewery-commissioned research establishes that Scotland has lost 768 pubs since March 2005, with ‘a “steep decline” in business over the last two years.’ More than half of Scotland’s publicans are pessimistic about the future of their business.

***

A proposed ‘public health levy’ for large retailers that sell alcohol and cigarettes has split the retail sector. The Federation of Small Businesses is broadly supportive, claiming that the new tax will ‘level the playing field’ between the supermarket and the corner shop. However, a strongly worded response from the Scottish Retail Consortium is highly critical, calling the levy, “a tax raid targeted specifically at a handful of companies which the Scottish Government believes can afford to pay it.” The CBI’s Alan Lonsdale warns that, once enacted, the tax raid is unlikely to stop at large retailers.

The projected £110 million raised by the ‘sin tax’ is to go towards funding public health measures.

***
Environment and Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson tweets:
At Fireworks Concert. 4 smokers in Princes Street Gardens – all next to us – foul. Central Park NYC have banned smoking – well done
Smokers spoil firework display

For these and other Scottish and international stories

Freedom-2-Choose (Scotland)

Foreign News

USA

New York’s smoking rate has fallen to an all time low. A recent telephone poll finds that half a million smokers say they have kicked the habit in the last ten years, an astonishing result that health officials put down to, “graphic anti-smoking ads, public smoking bans and higher cigarette taxes.”

New York enjoys the highest rate of tax on tobacco, making a pack of cigarettes $2:75 dearer than in neighbouring Pennsylvania.

***

The Baylor Health Care System is the latest employer to feel that they have a duty to ‘keep people healthy’. The Texas-base company will no longer be employing smokers.

***

To balance the score, a Circuit Judge in Kentucky has declared a county-wide smoking ban ‘null and void’ four days after its introduction. The Bullitt County ban was imposed by health officials who, Judge Rodney Burress said, were acting beyond their authority. His decision was welcomed by business leaders and residents.

***

A consortium of bar owners is seeking a temporary injunction to a smoking ban imposed on Delaware County. In the second court case to be held on the issue, bar owners testified to the ruinous loss of custom they have suffered since the ban’s introduction in August.

The first hearing lasted only half an hour. It ended abruptly when Donald Dunnock, the attorney representing the pro-ban faction, was called to testify as a witness by the other side.

***

The Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association is calling for the resignation of Ohio’s Health Department director Dr. Theodore Wymyslo. In a hard-hitting document, Wymyslo is accused of manipulating data to influence public opinion.

Update: Oct 7th: Wymyslo admits ‘figures were flipped’. (same link)


CANADA

Vancouver is adding an outdoor smoking ban to its already extensive collection of bans that cover all indoor spaces, bus stops, doorways and windows. As from January 1st next year, it will be illegal to light up in any of its 224 parks.

By June 2012, all packets of cigarettes will carry very large pictures of dead smokers. This is to shock smokers who have become used to the merely gruesome images that currently occupy only half the pack.

A Statistics Canada survey says that the smoking rate has dropped an entire percentage point since 2009. Interestingly, the province of Saskatchewan has the highest rate of young smokers – it was the first to introduce a display ban back in 2002.


Carla Bruni – gagging for a fag.


GREECE is allowing the operators of large night clubs to set aside half their floor space for smokers – at a price. 200 euros per metre per year is the cost of rendering second-hand smoke harmless.


A club for smokers has opened in Alicante, SPAIN. The first of its kind in the country, it has attracted more than 200 members.


One of our members reports back from TURKEY:

The ban is being flouted all over the place. Where I stayed, regardless of the lack of ashtrays, it is not putting people off lighting up. Despite what I read about a tobacco display ban, it is still on prominent display behind the counter in most small shops.
Other Random News Stories

Brian the Diversifying Ice-Cream Man has had his first complaint in 20 years, from two outraged mums, for selling cigarettes from his van.
Brian, who has a license to sell tobacco, said that he “was not doing anything differently from newsagents and supermarkets, who also sell sweets, ice cream and tobacco.”

Plymouth councillor David Salter blasts a local NHS Stop-Smoking Service document which describes, “a vision of a smoke-free Plymouth where “future generations are protected from tobacco-related harm and live longer, healthier lives””. Dr. Salter’s criticism is not so much for the sentiment expressed by ‘The Tobacco Plan for Plymouth’ as for its sloppy presentation.
“Some of the wording is complete gibberish… we need to explain it in clear English, or there is no way it can succeed… There are spelling mistakes.”

NHS Cumbria is to extend its scheme of rewarding confirmed ex-smokers with vouchers for free leisure centre activities. Proof of abstinence required.

Picking and choosing his freedoms: Duncan Bannatyne defends the body-waxing package for pubescent girls, offered by his Bannatyne Spas. “Parents should bring up there children not newspapers or stupid web sites”, tweets the man who would like to see smoking banned completely.

Traffic fume exposure can push up the risk of heart attack by 5% according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The increased risk was described as ‘small and had little net impact on the overall number of heart attacks’.

Smokers be warned – if you are putting your house on the market, hide the ashtrays and light the scented candles. Evidence of smoking hands bargaining power to would-be buyers.

The ‘seven steps’ campaign, launched by smokefree south west, has infiltrated west Berkshire, Reading and Wokingham. The campaign relies heavily on belief in third-hand smoke.

Isle of Man prisoners are getting around their enforced ‘quit’ regime by smoking shredded nicotine patches and fruit, lint and pubic hair, all rolled in pages from the Bible and glued together with toothpaste.
Despite the “large number of negative outcomes”, prison chiefs have no plans to lift the three year-old smoking ban.

Shirley the orang-utan is forced to give up smoking upon being moved to a new zoo in Malaysia. At 25 yrs of age, we say Shirley is old enough to choose for herself!

But where will they stick the patches?
Freedom2choose:
c/o John H Baker 22 Glastonbury House, Priestfields, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS3 0LF
Tel/Fax 0845 643 9469

Freedom2choose (Scotland):
c/o The Dalmeny Bar, 297 Leith Walk,
Edinburgh EH6 8SA
Tel 0845 643 9552

JOIN F2C for just £10 a year.
Know of someone else that would be interested
Click Here

 Our apologies for the lack of Pictures, our system rejects them, unfortunately

Rent Reviews, a professional opinion is vital, Barrel-Dregs (203)

Rent Reviews

Do not ignore your pending Rent Review, get a free “Strength of Case Review” now, even if the review is not due for two years. 

We are all aware that a very large number of pub owning companies have taken on board the so called Pub Co Model to a greater or lesser degree, as a trading policy, some are trying to take a step back or distance themselves from the long term effects of such short sightedness.

You cannot have a two tier valuation process, one based on viability, which is the secure method and one based on unsustainable rents and an over inflated asset value.

The RICS were very aware of this flaw and by changing their Valuation Guidelines hoped to remove this serious breach.

We are also all aware that certain companies estates are now worth a fraction of their book valuation, the shares have plummeted to near Junk Bond status, their Bond Holders are baying at their heels for money, with little hope after such corporate stupidity.

All lease matters and rent reviews are subject to RICS Guidelines, a number of companies are distancing themselves from using RICS Members, because failing to implement the Guidelines puts the Surveyors careers at risk.

However, certain companies by using their Business Managers to implement any increases puts them in theory outside RICS Guidelines, many have absolutely no in depth knowledge or knowledge at all of their content.

They in turn are under serious pressure to obtain a settlement outside these Guidelines, very much to the lessees or tenants cost.

The alternative is to take the matter to Arbitration or PIRRS at considerable cost, but should ensure a fair settlement by a Chartered Surveyor adjudicating.

Since fair viable rent settlements are being achieved at Arbitration, rents in my opinion and many others should be within 6-8% of turnover depending on the lease maintenance responsibilities and degree of tie.

Certainly recent settlements have come out within that range or close to, mainly at Arbitration, unfortunately PIRRS results are in the main confidential and each party stands their own costs, win or lose.

There have been questions on the probity of certain adjudicators, whose businesses have been very dependent on Pub Co patronage, this could be construed as a conflict of interests and should be declared, any adjudicator should be totally independent and above reproach in these contentious times.

To many tenants and lessees the thought of a head to head battle with the landlord on a rent review and subsequent increase can be terrifying, the landlord has a mass of figures, most of which the tenant has little knowledge or way of verifying, in many cases they are wild speculation by an unscrupulous landlord, proving to the contrary with little or no knowledge is well beyond many people’s ability.

It is easier to accept a slightly lesser demand and go quietly, frequently at serious cost to your business profitability.

The new RICS Guidelines have changed this for the better.

Assuming that settlements come within the 8% of T/O previous rent review settlements, this adds another dimension, the leases, which were sold to many as having capital value and proved to be worthless with an unsustainable or non viable rent, having only a Fixtures and Fittings value if you are lucky, with sensible profitable rents, leases will immediately have a capital value and the dream of owning a successful pub will return.

But it is vital on all rent reviews to get a surveyors opinion in the immediate future to safeguard your interests, this is not a commercial but practical advice.

It may cost you far more in the long term, if your property is over rented, which an enormous amount are, where the Pub Co Model has been used, this is net profit being thrown away, plus the added bonus of your lease having a value, with a rent leaving no serious possibility of making a viable profit, your lease is worth very little.

Find surveyors who have not worked for Pub Co’s, but have worked solely or in the main for tenants or lessees, as one high profile surveyor who worked for Pub Co’s boasted to me at a lunch that he charged well in excess of £300 an hour, “Can you afford to pay me that,” you don’t bite the hand that feeds you and some Landlords know this and ensure that the companies that act for them note this fact.

Sadly this can divide surveyors in to two camps those that act for Landlords and those that act for Tenants.

Surveyors are not cheap, like solicitors they do an essential job, they do not charge £300+ an hour when working for lessees, at least the ones we recommend, they will give you a free, “Strength of case review”, to confirm as to whether you have a realistic case.

It does nobody any favours to spend time and money on a case where there is no chance of success.

Barfly

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.