Friday 26 June 2009

Out in the open

One of my local pubs currently has a large sign saying “Tenancy Opportunity”. In the past, breweries would have waiting lists of potential tenants, and when a vacancy arose it would be discreetly offered around without any need for advertising. But, in the current climate, good tenants can be hard to find, and so pub owners have to resort to making it common knowledge that a pub is available. But I can’t help thinking that it is likely to be offputting to potential customers if they know a pub is under temporary management. People’s decision to visit or not to visit a particular pub can often be swayed by apparently trivial factors, and a sign saying “You could run this pub!” may well be one of them. It also puts across a distinctly negative impression of the trade as a whole if half the pubs in an area are up for grabs.

1 comment:

  1. Sign of the times. I suspect existing landlords with burned fingers are clued up about the inequity of the tied system, and the pub co’s are looking for new mugs. People with redundancy cheques looking to be their own boss. I’m wary of any market that is looking for new blood, reminded of what John Templeton said about the equity markets of the 20’s. When he got stock tips from his shoe shiner he knew it was time to leave the market. In a market running on greater fool theory rather than fundamental value, if you cannot identify the greater fool, chances are it’s you. In Stockport the signs I’ve seen recently are from regional brewers, the Sun and Castle on Hillgate and the Cock in Hazel Grove. Holts and Robinsons respectively. These companies tend to work with their tenants rather than against them, and arguably need to better differentiate themselves from the listed pub co’s and make a case in the trade press that the business relationships within their supply chain are fair and equitable. Whether new blood is successful or not would depend I guess on 2 factors, talent and luck. Many people will have business experience relevant to a customer service business and if the pub is well located, such talent could be successful. Ex accountants are among the most successful people to run their own business, suggesting that a knowledge of book keeping and cash flow is the most pertinent business knowledge to bring to a new enterprise. However in both the cases I’ve recently seen, my first thought is that the areas are over pubbed, and if I threw my hard earned in, I’d be the greater fool.


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