NEWS EXTRA – May 2019

MARSTON’S ARE PREPARED!

Marston’s have prepared for ‘Brexit’ by stockpiling £6 million worth of beer. Unfortunately, the article in the Metro dated 16 May did not say what sort of beer but I assume that it is imported brands. The article also mentioned that the company had announced its annual profit, up by £5.8 million to £19.2 million.

Marston’s are continuing to expand their tied estate. Their chief executive, Ralph Findlay, in an interview with the Morning Advertiser on 15 May, said that they are looking to open nine ‘new build’ pub-restaurants and three more ‘lodge’ hotels this year plus six and three more respectively next year, at a cost of around £50 million. They have introduced a vegan menu, for which they won the PETA vegan restaurant menu of the year award.

Mr Findlay also added that a further £80 million is being invested in its managed pub estate. This follows a strong trading performance by their wet-led managed pubs, including the 15 former Mitchells & Butlers pubs that they acquired in September. Their tenanted and leased pubs are also performing well and the company currently has no closed pubs.

TOP NOSH

On the subject of pub-restaurants, according to a report in the Morning Advertiser of 14 May, a survey conducted by the catering equipment company Nisbets has revealed that Britain’s favourite five pub meals are Sunday roasts, fish and chips, steak and chips, Hunter’s Chicken and scampi.

THREAT TO WESTMINSTER PUBS

The plans for the House of Commons to relocate to Richmond House in Whitehall during the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster could have consequences for nearby pubs. The Red Lion, well patronised by politicians and journalists, is likely to end up behind security barriers. Owners Fuller’s, who are in talks with the authorities, told the Morning Advertiser, “While we appreciate that works are required, we are very concerned about the possible negative consequences these works could have on such a wonderful, highly successful pub.”
Another pub, the St Stephen’s Tavern could also be affected but owners Hall & Woodhouse would not make any comment.
Tony Hedger