Punch plans to drive accommodation across estate

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Punch's Portree Hotel on the Isle of Skye was part of a successful pilot of its new accommodation format
Punch's Portree Hotel on the Isle of Skye was part of a successful pilot of its new accommodation format

Related tags: Hotel

Leased pub owner Punch is pushing forward with plans to boost its accommodation business across the UK after seeing success with a pilot scheme in Scotland. 

Three Punch sites, including the Portree Hotel on the Isle of Skye started trading under the new model, which involves an income sharing arrangement with operators, last year. 

Punch development director David Wigham, told BigHospitality the pilot had been so successful he was now looking to replicate it south of the border. 

"The results have been fantastic, we've been impressed with the level of trade they’ve achieved," he said. "Average Room Rate and RevPAR has been good and they also have excellent restaurant and bar trade. All three got nominated as finalists in the Scottish Hotel Awards, with the Portree Hotel winning Town Hotel of the Year.

"Against that positive backdrop we’ve decided to take that forward and begin looking at how we drive accommodation across the rest of our estate."

Appointments

Wigham has appointed two area managers with hotel expertise to push forward the accommodation side of the business which is roughly split into two depending on the number of rooms - hotels and pubs with rooms. 

"Broadly anything over six rooms is more like an accommodation business so would be run more like a traditional hotel while less would be more like a pub with rooms," he said. 

Approximately 300 Punch sites have bedrooms, but not all would be suitable for the new model, Wigham said. 

As well as working with existing operators, Wigham said he hoped more would-be hoteliers would come forward to run accommodation businesses as sites became available. 

"The bulk of our estate is being operated and we are already working with those operators to see how they can develop their business," he said. "As more become naturally available with us, however, we'll look at ways we can relaunch those sites. The key difference is now we have expertise in the business to focus on accommodation." 

Rival

Wigham said he believed Punch's accommodation offering, which is segmented into value, mainstream and premium, has the potential to rival many operators in the accommodation space. 

"We have different propositions - our hotel in Portree for example has 24 bedrooms and is a destination site whereas some of our more traditional pub sites are more functional. Generally though pubs do offer a lot more personality than a budget hotel chain. Our estate has huge opportunity to compete with other accommodation chains, whether they be budget chains or something more upmarket," he said. 

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