Star Pubs & Bars sees 'post-lockdown surge' in tenant applications

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars sees 'post-lockdown surge' in tenant applications

Related tags: Heineken, Star pubs & bars

Star Pubs & Bars is experiencing 'a post-lockdown surge in experienced leased and tenanted applicants, with numbers reaching the same 'record-breaking' levels set last year.

According to the pubco, which is owned by Heineken, the company was receiving around 30 applications a week during the height of lockdown.

It adds that the calibre of applicants is higher than has been the case historically, with a greater proportion having licensed trade experience, better funding, and a clear vision for the pubs they are taking on.

The group believes that this, combined with a continued willingness by licensees to invest in pubs, indicates 'a high level of confidence' in the leased and tenanted sector, despite the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Of the 29 leased and tenanted pubs where Star Pubs & Bars had joint refurbishments underway pre lockdown or planned for later in the year, all but one operator has chosen to proceed.

“Our estate is primarily suburban community locals and drive-to destination pubs, which is where operators see the opportunities," says Hance McPherson, Star Pubs & Bars recruitment manager.

"People are working from home more and travelling less on public transport, and so are opting to stay local.

"This is great news for pubs in these locations, which are premiumising their offers, and for the refurbishment projects we are undertaking as they meet this demand and so are encouraging licensees to invest.

“Applicants are mindful of the immediate challenges that pubs face but have confidence in the long term.

"During lockdown they were able to research the market thoroughly and put-together well thought through business plans. The result is pent-up demand from quality applicants.”

Earlier this month rival pubco Greene King recorded its own record number of tenant applications​.

Just over 250 people got in touch with Greene King Pub Partners between June and August saying they wanted to run their own pub; more than double the number that applied during the same period in 2019.

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