Thursday, 05 August 2021
Sir, - I have been prompted to write to you as I visited Brakspear and found the staff in a somewhat sober mood having seen sight of yet another letter bemoaning the company's activities (Standard, February 13).
I think the good people of Henley and district should be quite thankful that we have Brakspear's thoughtful approach to running its pubs in what are difficult times, particularly for small pubs.
Until 2008 I was sales director at Adnams in Suffolk.
The then tied estate chaps at Adnams were telling me that if one of the tied houses was doing less than £350,000 per annum it was unviable, mainly due to the cost pressures on small businesses and the consumer being wary with regard to the retail prices that they would support.
Recently the British Beer and Pub Association published a survey of the 2014 costs in terms of utilities, business rates, repairs and renewals, council tax and staff costs. All of these areas saw considerable inflation for the small publican, especially those taking less than £500,000 per year.
Costs are rising and the British public is drinking less, particularly in pubs. Sales of beer in pubs have gone down by 32 per cent in the nine years from 2005 to 2014.
24 February 2015
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