Star Pubs and Bars has reported a 10% rise in applications for its pubs and an increase in the percentage of licensees on substantive leases over the last 12 months.
This follows on from a 12.5% increase in applications in 2018, and the company said it also witnessed a “higher level of interest in leasing pubs generally” in 2019.
Traffic for the group’s recruitment website was up 49%, and its pub open days had “record” attendance levels that were up by 80-90% from the year prior.
More multiple operators also took on pubs in 2019, which the pub group said was “evidence of experienced licensees’ confidence in the future of the pub industry”.
Hance McPherson, Star Pubs and Bars recruitment manager said: “With stories in the news about businesses not committing to projects and investment, it’s refreshing to see the leased pub sector bucking the trend and demonstrating that the entrepreneurial spirit in the licensed trade is still alive and kicking.
“Operators can see the opportunities well invested pubs offer and are keen to partner with pub companies that have a clear business strategy to help them deliver long term growth.”
He added: “To kick off the new year, we’re launching a new advertising strategy putting licensees at the heart of our campaign, showing the myriad of roles they do daily whilst also highlighting key aspects of our 5 star support which licensees tell us distinguishes us from other pub companies.”
Ross Robinson, a multiple operator with Star Pubs and Bars, said: “Leasing a pub makes business sense as you have the security of a big business behind you and get access to various cash resources that you might not have available to fund yourself otherwise.”