Heineken is spending £20m upgrading its Star Pubs & Bars estate across the UK with £10m earmarked for rural and suburban pubs to transform them into great local pubs.
With competition for leisure spend increasing and the growth of coffee shops, the company believes that pubs need to adapt to changing consumer demands. New research, carried out by Populus on behalf of Heineken, shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of British adults visit their local pub once a week or more, yet pubs that have failed to keep pace with evolving consumer demands are struggling.
By investing in new kitchens, free WiFi, comfortable outside spaces and areas for events, Heineken hopes its investment in its Star estate will continue to transform underperforming pubs into local hubs that the whole community can enjoy.
Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “Vibrant pubs are an affordable, fun place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together. But as consumer demands have changed, pubs that struggled to keep pace have closed. We believe pubs run by skilled operators and backed by transformational investment can thrive in their role at the heart of communities.
“Two thirds of Star pubs are located in suburban or village locations. Residents in these areas are looking for the same choice and quality of drinks, good food and entertainment on their doorsteps as they get in city centres.”
One pub to benefit from recent investment is the White Horse in Headcorn, Kent, run by Richard Foy and Steven Manyweathers. Richardsaid: “Last year, this was a tired village pub serving mostly male customers, with a question mark over its future. Our new kitchen means we now serve better quality food and attract a wider audience – around 40% of our customers are now women.
“The investment has not only transformed our pub into a local that serves the wider community, it’s also given the community a welcoming social hub, where anyone can come to meet others from the village.”
You can watch videos of a recent refurbishment at the Rose & Crown https://youtu.be/1CJ1tK2m-dY or see exactly what Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, has in mind for 2017 investments by clicking here https://youtu.be/D0SJDtpEAVg