More than 100 people turned out for this year’s Arkell’s Publican’s Information day at the brewery in Swindon. One man was so keen not to miss it that after a hard day’s work in London he drove straight to the brewery rather than heading home.
Another, Jenny Hull who lives in Cirencester, said now her children are grown up, it was something she wants to discover more. She added: “Some pubs are closing down, but that hasn’t put me off – rather I think what are they doing wrong that I could do better?”
Brewery director George Arkell spent the afternoon talking through the nuts and bolts of running a pub with visitors. He said: “Running a pub is an opportunity and a challenge. Customers want more and tenants can turn the old-fashioned pub into a broader business.
“Practically all pubs have multiple income-generating opportunities. Selling beer and food is just the start. Our pubs can offer take-away service, host events, some have bed and breakfast and even hard standing for caravans too.”
Some attending the event said they had money to invest, but wanted a better understanding of what the business was all about.
“Like setting up any other small business, a prospective publican needs investment plus working capital,” said George. “But the benefits of running a pub owned by a family-brewery is that you are not alone. We maintain the building and give our tenants as much support as they need – and there are not layers of managerial bureaucracy to battle through – it’s just us, so decisions can be made fast.”
Late year Arkell’s purchased a community pub and a hotel on one of Wiltshire’s most historic towns. The brewery currently has five tenancies available across its estate of pubs, and as soon as a tenancy is available it is posted onto the Arkell’s website and announced on Arkell’s Facebook page. Those seeking early information about pub tenancies can have their details added to the brewery’s e-alert system.