Star Pubs and Bars has revealed it is experiencing a “post-lockdown surge” in experienced leased and tenanted applicants and a willingness to invest in pubs by licensees, indicating a “high level of confidence” in the leased and tenanted sector despite the pandemic.
The leased pub business of Heineken said application numbers at the business are now back to its “record breaking” 2019 levels.
It said even during the height of lockdown the company was receiving around 30 applications a week with the calibre of applicants is also higher than has been the case historically.
Pointing to another sign of confidence in the market, the firm revealed that of the 29 leased and tenanted pubs which had joint refurbishments underway pre lockdown or planned for later in the year, all but one operator has chosen to proceed.
Hance McPherson, Star Pubs and Bars Recruitment manager, said: “Our estate is primarily suburban community locals and drive-to destination pubs, which is where operators see the opportunities. 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.”
He added: “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.”
Since lockdown, Star Pubs and Bars has invested £25m supporting its 2300 leased and tenanted pubs