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Running a pub business

Once upon a time if you dreamt of running a pub, restaurant or hotel

or all three it was relatively simple


Freehold Pubs

In years gone by you could buy a pub, restaurant or hotel freehold, which usually meant it was a free house with no tie to anyone or any company other than those you decided to agree to.


Good old Tenancy Agreements

Or you would have had a tenancy agreement, which usually meant you were tied to a particular brewer one of the many tied estates of pub properties which typically was for a year to three years. 


Everything changed with the Monopolies and Mergers Commission

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission changed all of this in the 1990s putting restrictions on Breweries on the number of pubs they could own as they saw this as a monopoly (vertical integration is the technical term) with breweries starting to change how they operated.  


Whitbread Brewery

A good example is Whitbread Plc with Whitbread Brewery going back to the 1740s when Samuel Whitbread founded his first brewery then in the 1760s created the first purpose built brewery in the UK being a London based brewer.   In 1948 Whitbreads were listed on the London Stock Exchange. Over the years acquired and carried out partnerships with local breweries particularly during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s where many local breweries where acquired such as Lacons, Great Yarmouth, JW Green Ltd, Flowers Brewery, Fremlins of Kent, Wethereds of London and The Midlands and in the 1980s Boddingtons brewery located in Manchester.  Whitbreads did not stand still over the years moving from being just a brewer to food based pubs also with accommodation to purpose built travel inns following along the lines of Travelodge (which was originally built by Trusthouse Forte) and going into partnerships and franchises with such brands as Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, etc. 


The Monopolies and Mergers Commission

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission in part made Whitbreads look at their business again, as it did most of the major brewers, and in the case of Whitbreads they set up a pub leasing company called Whitbread Pub Partnerships which then Whitbreads sold on as they developed further into other areas of the hospitality business such as David Lloyd Leisure, Marriott Hotels, Premiere Inns, Cafe Rouge, Pelican Restaurants and of course developed the concept of Costa Coffee .


Are you a pub operator or are you a pub leasing company?

Looking specifically at Brewery and Pub side of the business Whitbread moved rapidly from being mainly a brewer to being a brewer and a pub owner then to a purchaser of other local breweries then with the Monopolies and Mergers Commission forming Whitbread Pub Partnerships which were leasehold properties this was then sold onto, what many would say, is a pub owning vehicle Laurel Pub Company.  Later the Laurel Pub Company was sold to Enterprise Inns

This then moves us onto the new market of the pub owning company usually without a brewery.

Real Ale

When Whitbread and other brewing companies were buying up other brewers is when concerns first started concerning the real ale trade and eventually this and other similar instances led to the forming of CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale.

Ironically many local brewers are re-opening such as Lacon Inns originally founded in 1760 which was sold to Whitbreads in 1965 with the brewery re-opening in recent years.


Helpful Pub and Brewery Information 








Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)                                            

Offers information and representation for self employed Landlords in the Public House industry  outside of the large Pub chains                                       







Enterprise Inns

We are familiar with Enterprise Inns and have carried out many Pub Surveys on their pubs and we would recommend that you have us on your side when carrying out negotiations to lease a pub with Enterprise Inns   







Admiral Taverns

A large independent pub company with a range of pubs for sale and rent - also offers advice on how to run a pub. Call us if you are going to rent a pub from Admiral Taverns.







Greene King pub retailer and brewer

A great brewer in Bury St Edmunds with lots of pubs to rent. We are more than happy to help you if you have made the decision to lease a pub.







Charles Wells Brewery

Family run pub and brewery business located in Bedford. Are you about to rent a pub? Contact us about a Pub Survey.  

Joint brewing venture established with Youngs PLC IN 2006 







Punch Taverns

Large UK pub leasing company. If you are considering renting a pub from Pub Taverns contact us for help and advice, it could save you a lot of money.







Brakspear Pubs

Pub company based in Henley on Thames. Contact us to discuss a Pub Survey if you are thinking of renting a pub from Brakspear. 







Youngs Tenancies - Ram Pubs

Youngs Pubs - rebranded as Rams Pubs. Please contact us if you want to  lease a pub, our Pub Surveyors can offer you expert advice.  







The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)

Based in St Albans, CAMRA promotes real ales, ciders and traditional pubs. 







The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)

As the professional body for the pub industry the BII offers help and training for its members in the licensing trade.







Fred Barrett - Licensed Property Valuers, Brokers & Stocktakers 

Specialist letting and sales agents that deal with leaseholds and freeholds within the Pub, restaurant and hotel industry. 







J D Weatherspoon - British pub chain 

A large nationwide Pub Chain with headquarters in Watford.







Marstons - Independent brewing and pub retailing business

Get in touch with us if you are thinking of leasing a pub from Marstons, our Pub Surveys can save you money.







Whitbread - UK's leading hospitality company

Established in 1742 Whitbread became one of the UK's largest brewers to later float on the Stock Exchange and then reinvent themselves as a leading hospitality company.