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Who pays to save pubs and shops?
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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #1
27-09-2013 10:06 AM

[Split from "Ex Honor Oak Pub" -admin]

Nellienoodle Wrote:
We used to use the pub regularly and it was one of the reasons we decided to buy on St Germans Road. I know the old manager had a hard time of it, but it didnt offer what we need - I got fed up of my husband moaning about the c**p beer and being served a "latte" (nescafe mixed with milk and served with a straw). I'm sure with some hard work and style the pub would a great success again. I would love to run it but Id find it hard not to drink/eat the profits away...


dunc_30 Wrote:
Nellienoodle expressed an interest in running a pub - that's the best idea I've heard all week. Together with her husband, they'd run the best pub in se23!


Really? Aren't they more likely to join the army of "have-a-go publicans" with no actual experience in the business, who then lose their life savings? And doesn't Lewisham's policy of keeping pubs open encourage this, also undermining the profitability of professionally run pubs?

More on Lewisham's pubs policy here

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 10:08 AM by Tim Lund.

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dunc_30


Posts: 54
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #2
27-09-2013 10:15 AM

Oh for heaven's sake - lighten up!

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Cheeky


Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #3
27-09-2013 10:58 AM

Tim Lund, what do you mean by 'undermining the profitability of professionally run pubs'?

I understand what you mean about 'have-a-go-publicans' and losing their life savings as. I would love to be one but am not for that very reason. I'm all for reputable and experienced owners who know what they're doing coming in and making a success of a place, I'd love it, not to say I wouldn't be jealous of them (I wouldn't hold it against them though Smile )

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 11:04 AM by Cheeky.

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Bcm


Posts: 187
Joined: May 2010
Post: #4
27-09-2013 11:04 AM

Some so called "have-a-go publicans" bought a pub where I used to live and tuned what was a loss-making craphole into a profitable and exceptional pub. If they can do it, so can many others. The number if experienced publicans who seem to operate a laissez faire attitude of "if we build it they will come" is truly staggering. Not sure why you are so negative Tim, perhaps you need a pint.

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daveherne


Posts: 212
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #5
27-09-2013 11:25 AM

more pubs with a soul is certainly a good thing. more likely to get that from an independent.

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Cheeky


Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #6
27-09-2013 11:38 AM

I have always believed that if you're someone with a bit of common sense, a bit of style know how, a bit of money and not afraid of a bit of hard work then you could turn a place around and make it a huge success.

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 11:41 AM by Cheeky.

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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #7
27-09-2013 11:51 AM

Bcm Wrote:
Some so called "have-a-go publicans" bought a pub where I used to live and tuned what was a loss-making craphole into a profitable and exceptional pub. If they can do it, so can many others. The number if experienced publicans who seem to operate a laissez faire attitude of "if we build it they will come" is truly staggering. Not sure why you are so negative Tim, perhaps you need a pint.


Negative? Well, maybe the reason why is that I have some friends who lost their life savings, and probably also their marriage, in pursuit of a similar dream - not as publicans, but small scale farmers. Sorry, dunc_30, if you feel I should lighten up, but there is a time for sprinkling a little cold water.

As for a pint - those who know me know that mine is a half - or preferably a cappuccino. I've even been known to buy a round where others are drinking pints, so pm if you want to meet up, to your advantage Smile

Cheeky - 'undermining the profitability of professionally run pubs'. Ask yourself if, as a pub landlord, whether you would welcome having a competitor nearby. A good landlord might welcome having another good pub around, which would lift the area, but he/she might also fear a poorly run pub with the opposite effect, or even if it was good, that it would drive down margins. The argument for keeping pubs open depends on there being enough professional landlords to run them satisfactorily. On Forums such as this it's natural for posters to insist that there are, and to celebrate them when found, but I don't think it gives an accurate picture of the real world.

You suggest all you need is "a bit of common sense, a bit of style know how, a bit of money and not afraid of a bit of hard work", and these are all things we'd like to think of ourselves as having, but, apart from money, they are all things we are quite likely to kid ourselves about.

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 12:09 PM by Tim Lund.

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dunc_30


Posts: 54
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #8
27-09-2013 12:11 PM

Tim - no need to apologise, I just think 'sprinkling cold water' unnecessary - I was a light-hearted comment and most pro low are intelligent enough to realise that. On a series note, isn't the 'have a go' mindset part of the entrepreneurial spirit we should respect to an extent? Experience is important but it isn't critical. Right- back to work I go!

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
27-09-2013 12:25 PM

dunc_30 - spot on. Even a "professional landlord" has to start somewhere. Some get it right, some don't and of these some learn from the experience.

Quote:
The argument for keeping pubs open depends on there being enough professional landlords to run them satisfactorily


You could say exactly the same thing about shops - I find a good number nationally do not even approach what I would call good customer service. I do not propose converting them to another use on that basis.

Pubs are no different in that regard but where they are different is that they have a key cultural value that is in danger of being lost when it is so easy to convert them to other uses - just because they have been badly run once. Note that this is very often more to do with the pub management than the landlord per se - consider how small the margins in tied pubs are. I believe that this last point is most germane with regards to the Honor Oak.

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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #10
27-09-2013 01:18 PM

lacb Wrote:

Quote:
The argument for keeping pubs open depends on there being enough professional landlords to run them satisfactorily


You could say exactly the same thing about shops

Indeed - and I do.

Quote:
I find a good number nationally do not even approach what I would call good customer service. I do not propose converting them to another use on that basis.


Why not, if there there are other, more viable uses for the space?

lacb Wrote:
Pubs are no different in that regard but where they are different is that they have a key cultural value that is in danger of being lost when it is so easy to convert them to other uses - just because they have been badly run once.


Did you read my post on the STF:

Quote:
While people will always want to form communities, currently it's not so much pubs that they want, to the dismay of those to whom they have become a symbol of what they recognise by community. I suspect that my Granny and her community minded Manchester Guardian reading friends felt a similar dismay about the loss of places of worship - in her case the Meeting House.

What does not change is the temptation for established communities and planners to impose their idea of what the community needs. Communities will often require buildings, but let planners limit themselves to making sure that buildings, and their uses can be flexible, with appropriate policies concerning both the architecture and planning use classes.



lacb Wrote:
Note that this is very often more to do with the pub management than the landlord per se - consider how small the margins in tied pubs are. I believe that this last point is most germane with regards to the Honor Oak.


I guess this is an argument that the Pubcos ask for too much, in actual rent plus the 'economic' rent extracted from being a tied house. But Pubcos are not unusual in wanting the best return on their investment, so I don't see this as a fair criticism, unless you want to overthrow the entire capitalist system Smile

Which leads on to

dunc_30 Wrote:
isn't the 'have a go' mindset part of the entrepreneurial spirit we should respect to an extent? Experience is important but it isn't critical.


Yes, but how do you draw the distinction between the entrepreneurial spirit of would be have-a-go landlords and the managers of Pubcos? Given that many ordinary people have their pensions invested in Punch Taverns, discriminating against it will have a public cost.

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 01:25 PM by Tim Lund.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
27-09-2013 01:36 PM

Tim Lund,

Whether you or I regard an establishment as well run has no bearing on its social value to the community. Pubs, schools, churches, meeting houses , shops and a whole host of other structures go towards making a place pleasant to live in. I can assure you that a place without pubs is not pleasant - I have lived in Southfields (a former Mormon community) so can vouch for that.

The issue with tied pubs has very little to do with the operation of a market. The landlord of a tied pub is contractually obliged to buy overpriced, and often poor quality, product from the pub owner. As tied pubs dominate the market, there will always be something more "viable" than a pub.

I'm sorry that you cannot see all this. Am also sorry that I seem to have fed a troll.

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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #12
27-09-2013 01:58 PM

lacb Wrote:
I'm sorry that you cannot see all this. Am also sorry that I seem to have fed a troll.


This is not fair, and you should not personalise serious matters this way.

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 01:59 PM by Tim Lund.

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daveherne


Posts: 212
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #13
27-09-2013 03:12 PM

come on guys, grow up.

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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #14
27-09-2013 04:29 PM

Admin - no problem with you splitting this thread, but can I ask you to give it this title - "Who pays to save pubs and shops?"

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Tim Lund


Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #15
27-09-2013 04:44 PM

lacb Wrote:
Whether you or I regard an establishment as well run has no bearing on its social value to the community.

My personal POV has little bearing on it, but in aggregate, the personal choices of members of the community do - they determine whether the establishment is financially sustainable.

lacb Wrote:
. I can assure you that a place without pubs is not pleasant - I have lived in Southfields (a former Mormon community) so can vouch for that.


And my Mum grew up not far from the Becontree Estate, which was originally built without pubs, but somehow the system was flexible enough to allow them later. Job done. Was there any reason you know of that this couldn't happen in Southfields?

lacb Wrote:
The issue with tied pubs has very little to do with the operation of a market. The landlord of a tied pub is contractually obliged to buy overpriced, and often poor quality, product from the pub owner. As tied pubs dominate the market, there will always be something more "viable" than a pub.


The tie of the landlord to the pubco is not the point - it's whether the pub owner can get a better overall return from some alternative use. If they can, but they are obliged to accept a lower return, then they lose out. We don't need to cry for the pubcos - they know they are taking risks on the local and national policies which affect them - but please don't forget the interest of those with saving in pension funds and life assurance companies.

This post was last modified: 27-09-2013 04:54 PM by Tim Lund.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
27-09-2013 05:15 PM

Agreed, ultimately people need to visit a pub for it to be sustainable. I don't want to get into the specifics about Southfields - it may have pubs now - the point was to give anecdotal support to the Lewisham Council finding that pubs have genuine social value to local communities and so should have some protection.

The tie of a pub is very relevant. If margins are reduced, this affects goods supplied to customers, wages paid, quality of management and ultimately makes it less likely that people will go there and/or value its community aspect. That another business may make more profit does not imply that any pub is not sustainable on that site. It is not surprising that a pubco, if they do not make a success of a site, would prefer that the site doesn't go to another pub business.

Am certainly not crying for the pubcos - they have caused the death of many fine independent breweries over the years. As for the pension funds they are even less of a concern - they hedge their bets by having a diverse portfolio.

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