For well over a year now the news on the economy has been bleak – unemployment has been rising rapidly, consumer spending is being squeezed very hard and more and more businesses are going into liquidation and the banking system appears to have seized up. 2009 has probably been the worst year for the UK economy since the War.
However, it is often in these austere times that opportunities occur and new entrepreneurs come to the fore, this certainly applies in the pub sector of the market. Matt Bettesworth of Bettesworths Licensed Property Agents acts for several Pub Companies and currently has several interesting opportunities on his books. We have all read in the press about the demise of the British Pub and the record number of closures in recent months. It is easy to blame outside factors for all these failures, but many are due to the fact that operators were not very good and did not manage their finance either on a business or personal level. Customers today are more sophisticated, well travelled and expect a better standard of service. Many pub operators in the past may have been attracted to the trade by a flawed vision of the social benefits of playing mine host, without any serious conception of the hard work and real responsibilities required to make the business a success. Others may have tried to run the pub in tandem with other conflicting and time consuming business interests, often a recipe for disaster. Others have unrealistic life style expectations and think that the business should fund this, personal debt soars and the business sinks.
The pubs that are doing well now are the ones that are being run by good operators who understand financial monitoring, stock control, gross profit margins, training and recruitment and operating the pub in a professional manner.
For those with the right experience, knowledge and background there are numerous opportunities says Matt Bettesworth. His company is currently offering a number of well known pubs in the West Country on new Free of Tie 20 year leases at incentivised rents. The leases are full repairing with 5 year rent reviews. An example is The Greyhound, near Honiton approximately 12 miles east of Exeter. This is a substantial detached thatched period Inn with 10 Letting Bedrooms, Bar and Restaurant with 100 covers, plus 3 Bedroom Private Flat, standing in 2 acres. Previously the Inn was trading at just under £500,000 pa, however it is currently closed. For a person with the right CV and business plan this could be a bargain. Both the Ingoing and the Rent are negotiable.
In the beautiful South Hams of Devon the well known Kings Arms Hotel in the main street of Kingsbridge is also available. This substantial 14 Bedroom Coaching Inn has a Bar and Restaurant seating 70, a number of Conference Rooms and a Ballroom and Bar for 100. In addition there is a 3 Bedroom Private Flat. This business is currently being run under temporary management and is also available on a similar lease on realistic terms.
Bettesworths are also offering the nearby Ring O’Bells at West Alvington, just outside Kingsbridge. This pub is currently closed but was turning over £500,000 pa, a similar leasehold interest is available here.
Adjacent to the river in the beautiful village of Shaldon at the Estuary of the River Teign, the Shipwrights Arms is about to come on the market, it will also be available on a new Free of Tie 20 year lease.
Applicants interested in any of these pubs will have to provide detailed CV’s and sound business plans. A personal licence is necessary and a credit check will be applied for.
For anyone attracted by a beautiful landmark pub situated in an idyllic location overlooking the River Yealm, Bettesworths are offering the Dolphin Inn at Newton Ferrers on a new 15 year partially tied lease. The Inn has a turnover of between £450,000 and £500,000 ex VAT with an MAT beer barrelage of around 200. The asking price for the Lease and Trade Inventory is £40,000. Outside the 2 tiered patio overlooks the estuary and seats about 40 customers. The inside trade areas reflect the maritime nature of the area, being made up of small informal customer areas decorated with local nautical memorabilia with seating for about 50 customers. This pub is very popular not only with the locals, the tourists, but also with customers who travel out from nearby Plymouth.