Pub Companies - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

In January 2011 IPPR was commissioned on behalf of CAMRA and the Campaign for a Fair Pint to investigate the current status of the tied pub industry. This memo presents several of the preliminary findings which will be released in a final report due to be published in July 2011. The following observations are based on a poll of 424 tenants of tied pub outlets conducted by CGA Strategy in April 2011.[26]


—  Nearly two-thirds of all tied tenants have managed their pub for more than three years. 15% however have been managing their pub for less than 1 year while the remaining 17% have had their pub between one and three years.

—  When tied tenants were asked how much longer they plan to manage their pub there appears to be some doubt about longevity. 1 in 3 tenants do not believe they will continue to manage their pub after three years with 14% predicting they will no longer hold the pub within one year.

—  3 in 4 tied tenants have had experience in the pub industry prior to managing their current pub. The core of respondents that did not have prior experience—37%—had worked in a "professional" category, this includes office workers, teachers and managers. 11% had previous catering experience.

—  42% of tied tenants said they did not have any training before they signed their lease. Tenants who have not had any industry experience or training equate to roughly 10% of all tied pub outlets.


—  A significant number of tied respondents—46%—claimed that they earn less than £15,000 per annum. Only 11% claimed their personal income was over £30,000 per year.

—  A majority of all tied tenants—58%—state that they are financially struggling.

—  When investigating the reasons causing financial instability, 90% of tenants facing difficulties blamed the recession. 88% of these respondents noted the strain of the beer-tie, followed by 87% mentioning competition from supermarket pricing.

—  When investigating the tied model further, IPPR calculations show 78 per cent of those who mentioned the beer-tie as affecting their financial stability also mentioned the cost of rent as a contributing factor. The claim that lower costs in the dry rent offset the beer-tie is not a view shared by an overwhelming majority of tied tenants.


—  Approximately one-third of all tied tenants have not received information relating to their Pubco's code of practice.

—  A vast majority of tied tenants—71%—believe that the new code of practice will have no significant effect on their business while only 17% believe it will benefit them.

—  Just 36% of tied tenants believe that a dispute with their Pubco would be dealt with fairly. 40% of tied tenants do not know if their Pubco would objectively deal with a dispute, indicating a lack of consultation regarding guidelines and procedures for such matters between companies and tenants.

—  Only 1 in 3 tenants believe that their Pubco offers any value to their business. The majority—52%—claim their Pubco adds no value while 16% are unsure.

—  Of the minority that claim their Pubco does add value 86% indicate provision of business training as the most noted reason. Recognition of brand name was stated by 59% of these respondents followed by general training with 57%.

26   All of the major pub companies are represented in this sample, varying according to their proportion of the market. Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 6 October 2011