Pub Companies - Business and Enterprise Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted anonymously

  I signed a lease with Enterprise Inns in May 2006, at a cost of £42,000. Added to this I had to give a deposit of £10,000 and pay for stock, fixtures and fittings at a cost of approximately £37,000.

  The rent was pre-set at £45,000 per annum.

  The lease is fully repairing and fully tied to Enterprise Inns for all beer, wines spirits and soft drinks.

  The average weekly take was £5,500.

  On the face of it, the information supplied to me by Enterprise at the time led me to believe that I was entering into in a good business arrangement.

  In December 2006 I contacted my area manager to explain that the rent and stock were proving so expensive that I couldn't meet all of my obligations and that I needed help. At first I was told that it must be my business plan and they put one together for me. This allowed no provision for repairs or renovation, and insignificant allowance for staff. I was already working in excess of 65 hours a week at about £1.00 an hour. Close inspection showed theses figures to be grossly inaccurate in real terms.

  My research showed that the average Enterprise Inns pub was taking £5500 per week and paying £30,000 in rent. I argued this with Enterprise and in June they agreed to reduce the rent to £30,000 and refit the pub straight away.

  We flooded in July 2007 and the refit did not start until November 2007. We were finally fully open and operational from December 2007. I paid full rent throughout this period.

  My research has also shown that the being tied to Enterprise Inns for all of my stock can mean paying as much as £100 more for one 22 gallon barrel of Lager. This does seem an excessive amount and if reduced to a difference of £50-£70 a barrel would make a huge difference to our ability to operate a successful business.

  We are a busy pub and with a bit more help we could make a healthy profit and in turn become a better employer and better servant to the community. As it is, we are barely breaking even. I am juggling bills and getting threatened with legal action on a weekly basis.

29 September 2008

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