Case Study: What It Takes to Run a Marston’s Pub Franchise

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Marston's pub franchise

With more than 180 years of brewing experience, Marston's has managed to create the perfect pint. This has helped it attract customers in over 1,700 pubs across the country, who can enjoy the tipple alongside a wide range of other drinks – there's something for everyone. And, if you’re looking for a pub franchise, this stable business with a proven business model could have something for you too.

When you invest in a Marston’s pub franchise, you’re not just buying into a company that is committed to helping its franchisees develop successful businesses and deliver exceptional customer service, you’re joining an industry that gets right to the heart of communities up and down the country. According to IBISWorld, there are over 38,000 pubs in the UK, making an annual revenue of £19 billion. You’ll be one of over 430,000 people employed within the industry, providing a welcoming space for local people to enjoy a pint or two.

But why should you become a franchisee of a pub business? Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest advantages.

Benefits of running a pub franchise

Many entrepreneurs love the idea of running a franchise in the pub sector. Although it can be a lot of hard work, the rewards are considerable. Here are a few of them:

  • Work in a fun environment – Let’s start with the most obvious advantage. Pubs are somewhere people go to wind down, celebrate or just enjoy a drink or two with friends. Of course, there will be stressful moments for you and your staff working in the pub. But having a business that people visit in their leisure time should help you feel more relaxed in the long run – and help you find time for fun!
  • Be part of the community – For centuries, pubs have been at the heart of communities up and down the UK. They provide a place where friends and family can gather, buy a drink and get a bite to eat. You’ll get to be a part of this, seeing your customers have a good time and helping them celebrate life events. It’s likely you’ll get to know your ‘locals’ as they walk through your doors time and time again, and you’ll probably end up making friends with many of them. Even if you don’t, you’ll probably get to meet a lot of new and interesting people.
  • You can make more money by selling food – While pubs used to limit their offering to alcoholic drinks and simple pub snacks like nuts and pork scratchings, many pubs today have a full food menu. In fact, more than nine in 10 pub visits now involve food, according to The Guardian. You can boost your revenue by incorporating this additional income stream.
  • Get out of the traditional nine to five routine – If you’re sick of working the same old nine to five hours every day, a pub franchise could be for you. Although you may opt to open your business during these hours, your busiest time will be in evenings and at weekends. This could be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your preferred working hours. However, if you become a franchisee, you may be able to adapt your work schedule to fit in with your existing commitments.

What’s required?

A Marston’s pub franchise is suitable for prospective franchisees from a wide range of backgrounds. Experience of working in the industry is not crucial, as training and support will be provided. All franchisees attend Marston’s ‘Fit for Franchise’ induction programme to learn everything that’s needed to own and operate a busy pub. As well as the initial training, you and your team will also receive ongoing training and a support team will be on hand to answer any questions you have during your franchise contract.

However, to become a successful franchisee with this exciting pub franchise, you should be committed to bringing your business to profitability and working hard to make it a success. Other attributes that will be expected are:

  • Passion
  • Determination
  • Business acumen
  • Leadership

The only other thing left for you to decide is which pub format suits your personality and ambition. Marston’s have both a town-centre and village pub model; urban pubs offer a lively, exciting environment where there’s always something going on.

On the other hand, village pubs are renowned for their welcoming, community atmosphere, that encourages locals to visit regularly to sample delicious Sunday lunches, weekly entertainment and, of course, a great pint. Both business models regularly update their food and drinks menus to keep customers coming back for more.

Required investment levels for a Marston’s pub franchise

Here’s a breakdown of the financials:

  • Franchise fee: £25,000 plus VAT
  • Working capital: £20,000 to £25,000
  • Ongoing business fee: 1.25 percent of turnover

It’s also advised that you have the available funds for:

  • Independent advice from a solicitor, account and surveyor (who specialise in franchises)
  • Business set-up costs
  • Moving costs

As a Marston’s franchisee, you’ll receive the following returns:

  • 20 percent of the unit’s turnover (monthly)
  • 20 percent of the unit’s profit (quarterly)
  • Rent-free accommodation for you and your family
  • Most bills and repairs covered

The joining process

  1. Once you have registered your interest via the Marston’s website, the journey to becoming your own boss begins. A Marston’s pub franchise representative will contact you for an initial conversation about the opportunity. You should ask plenty of questions to make sure that this really is one of the best franchises to buy.
  2. Once you have all the answers you need, you can decide whether to accept an invitation to a Discovery Day. This will give you an informal opportunity to learn more about Marston's and its franchise model, as well as the chance to meet key people within the franchise team. You’ll also get a sense of the company culture, which will hopefully help secure your decision to progress with the franchise investment.
  3. If this is the case and you made a good impression at the Discovery Day, you’ll be invited to meet with an area operations manager. This is a more formal meeting and enables you to share your business plan and have in-depth discussions about what’s involved in running a franchise in the pub sector.
  4. If both parties are happy with your business plan and your commitment to becoming a successful franchisee after several more meetings, a final official offer is made and you’ll be enrolled on the induction training programme.

Case Study

Darren Brett is proof that even those with the most diverse career backgrounds can still become a successful part of the Marston’s Pub franchise.

Darren played professional football for Nottingham Forest for seven years, before travelling to America to continue his career. When his playing days came to an end, he moved across America, Brazil and South Africa as a coach. On his return to the UK, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so he took a construction job.

It wasn’t long before he saw an advert for a pub franchise in his local paper. Now, Darren is a franchisee at the Oak Apple in Worcester and the Woodman in Netherton. Increasing the popularity of his pubs, Darren has introduced a full events calendar and revamped an under-used function room as a venue for live music. But he won’t stop there; Darren has big plans to open more pubs in the future.

Darren is quick to point out that if you’re not prepared to make sacrifices and change some aspects of your life, this may not be one of the best franchises to buy. It takes a lot of time, effort and hard work to run a Marston’s pub franchise, but the rewards and earnings make it all worthwhile.

The reason that Darren chose to operate within the franchise model was because of the level of support that’s available. Also, he has the backing of a proven business model and the flexibility to make the changes he needs to. He has nothing but praise for the training, support and guidance that he’s received since he’s become a Marston’s franchisee and is excited about what the future holds. This is testament to the quality of the Marston’s franchise package.

Start a pub franchise today

Pubs are an exciting place to be. If you’re interested in being your own boss, earning good money and working in a vibrant environment, then a Marston’s pub franchise could be for you. Click here to find out more about the franchise opportunity and register your interest as a potential franchisee.

However, Marston’s isn’t the only pub franchise out there; there are plenty of businesses you can join if you’ve got your heart set on running your own franchise unit in the pub sector. Click here to browse our pub and bar franchise opportunities. Then, sort the selection by investment cost and popularity, and read more about each business to find the best one for you.

>> Read more articles on the Pub & Bar sector

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