Monthly Archives: February 2015

Petty Highway and Planning Departments (Barrel-Dregs 274)


Petty Highway and Planning Departments (Barrel-Dregs)

I called on a potential member of our other web site, he was not happy.

He had taken over an Enterprise Pub doing around £400.00 a week, being a local he knew what was needed in this catchment area.

Cleaned the pub up, invested in new furniture and much more and got the turnover up to a maximum of £7K a week.

Absolutely brilliant, until the highway authority in conjunction with the local planning department came along.

He had movable tasteful canvas type signs,  on his land, promoting his food, entertainment and all the other goodies to attract the resident locals, which they certainly did.

Having had many battles with various highway and planning departments across the country on signs, these gnomes sit in judgement, having absolutely no concern for a business making a success, employing staff and becoming a local amenity, you could say they are not unlike an amorphous Green Eyed Monster waiting to nail any small businessman in danger of making a success. READ ON

RICS Latest Quarterly Pub Rent Survey average 7.5% of FMT, sounds fair or is it?

The latest quarterly RICS pub rent survey (main contributors the larger Pub Co’s) now has rents at an average of 7.5% of PROJECTED Fair Maintainable Trade (always higher than actual trade).

The Pub Co’s have gone very quiet on this little snippet.

FMT as we have always said, is a vast over estimation by surveyors and BDM’s, most have never run a pub or really understand the vagaries of catchment areas, local trade, true definitions of Competent Operator/Reasonably Efficient Operator compared to a Retail Genius, throw in Cherry Picking of Comparables and we have a vast over estimation of FMT.

This RICS statement could be interpreted as an admission that all leased pubs are over rented, compared to ones that have been to PIRRS or Arbitration, no wonder the larger Pub Co’s have gone very quiet on this little gem.

We have been and still are in probably one of the worst financial recessions in living memory, yet we have surveyors and BDM’s who happily brow beat any uninformed tenant/lessee into accepting unsustainable FMT’s.

If you do get in this unfortunate position contact us ( and we will get a specialist to talk to you, please read other articles on our site on rent reviews etc. READ ON


Wise comments from an Industry Leader on Pub Co’s and the MRO

PropelWise comments from an Industry Leader on Pub Co’s and the MRO

At long last, some common sense from an industry leader on how a Pub Co can be run, taking advantage of the MRO and using the free of tie to the best advantage.

Ted Kennedy – free-of-tie tenanted pubs work perfectly well: Industry veteran Ted Kennedy, whose career has involved running both Whitbread’s pub division and Mill House Inns, has broken ranks to argue that it is preferable to run tenanted pubs on a free-of-tie basis.

His views carry weight after spending the last five years running around 500 tenanted pubs on behalf of Irish banks – and converting many to free-of-tie.

He reports very low closure rates and very low levels of bad debt. The key issue, he said, is reducing pub company overheads by out-sourcing much of the administration – Kennedy has employed LT Management Services to carry out back office administration.

Writing in today’s Propel Friday Opinion, he states: “Our experience of taking over 500 pubs in failed companies and turning those companies into free-of-tie operators suggests a new tack can revitalise relationships.  LINK







I had a distinct sense of chickens coming home to roost when I heard that Alcohol Concern had lost its annual funding from the Department of Health. This core funding was worth some £300,000 to £400,000 a year to the anti-alcohol charity. The consequence is that Alcohol Concern has had to sell its offices and restructure. The main victims of this are Chief Executive Don Shenker, and its full-time fundraiser, who have both had to resign because the charity can no longer afford to pay their salaries.


Some have suggested that this was Government “revenge” for Alcohol Concern walking away from the Industry Alcohol Social Responsibility Deal. I just think it’s a lesson in the hard reality of politics in a recession. If you set your face against public policy, don’t expect Government to give you scarce public money in order to assist you in doing so.


The fact is that Alcohol Concern, and their sister charity in Scotland Alcohol Focus, have hardened their position in relation to the issue of alcohol-related harms and how to reduce them. They’ve moved from promoting responsible drinking to advocating the reduction of alcohol consumption across the whole population – “We all need to drink less” – the Medical Temperance view. This has put them on a collision course with the drinks’ industry, and with a Government at Westminster which is signalling that the industry is part of the solution, not the cause of the problem.


In Scotland Alcohol Focus now rejects any kind of industry funding, but can rely on a Scottish Government as ideologically opposed to alcohol as they are. But Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has expressed his disdain for an approach that “ramps up the righteousness and reaches for the regulations”. This not-so-subtle shift seems to have passed Alcohol Concern by.


The interface between the politics of recession and the politics of drinking has resulted in Alcohol Concern becoming a casualty. Sadly, I suspect that the lesson they will draw from this isn’t that they were too hard-line for their own good, but that they weren’t hard-line enough. Now that they’ve alienated both Government and the drinks’ industry, Alcohol Concern will need to find a constituency of support prepared to fund them. To do that I suspect they will need to become less ideological. Don Shenker’s departure can only assist in that regard.


Paul Chase, Director and Head of UK Compliance, CPL Training