Star Pubs and Bars announced it has extended its rent reductions for its leased and tenanted pubs, ahead of the reopening of its sites this summer.
The operator had previously cancelled a significant proportion of rent for licensees. Since 20 March, two thirds of its core leased and tenanted pubs have received a rent concession of 50% to 75%, whilst one third received a concession of 75% or more.
The group has now confirmed that licensees will receive the same level of those individual rent reductions throughout July and August. The total rent concession package will now amount to £21m since the lockdown began in March.
In addition, Heineken UK, which the pub operator is a part of, has also set up the Pub Collective website, described as a “one stop shop” for the latest government advice, free learning resources and advice on how to adapt offers during the pandemic.
Star Pubs and Bars is also working alongside its pubs on “detailed plans” to reopen this summer. This includes access to Swifty, a new payment and loyalty app that enables consumers to order from their table.
The group said that it is also working on clear signage and points of sale to help maintain a safe environment, and will “support licensees to implement government guidelines on safe practices once they’ve been published”.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs and Bars said: “Throughout this crisis, we have worked with every pub individually to provide support and I’m grateful to all our licensees who have trusted us to do the right thing by them.
“Our business is built on those partnerships and we want to do everything we can to help make sure their businesses are sustainable long-term.”
He added: “We hope that the extension of the concessions offered can provide a degree of certainty to our pubs, as we all turn our collective focus on the complex task of reopening. Once restrictions are lifted, we want to see all of our pubs open, trading and operating as viable businesses as soon as possible.
“With lockdown measures starting to be eased, it’s important that we take a lead in making sure every pub has enhanced health and safety measures to make sure people feel safe when they revisit their local.”