Top 3 Pub Franchises in the UK

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If you love nothing more than spending a few hours in your local, catching up with friends over a drink, you might be interested in running your own business with a pub franchise. Read on to find out more about the profitable sector and take a look at a few of your options.


Running a pub franchise location can be fun, rewarding and profitable. Not only do you get to see your customers enjoying a refreshing drink with friends and family, but you can also make a substantial profit. Although pubs take a lot of time and energy from their managers, you shouldn’t let this put you off if you’ve got the determination to build a successful business. In this article, we’ll learn more about the pub market and look at a few lucrative pub franchise opportunities to get the ball rolling.

The pub market in the UK

Some studies have revealed that the number of pubs in the UK is declining as coffee shops and family-friendly restaurants take their place. So, in order to tackle competition from cafes, restaurants and supermarkets that sell cheap alcohol, pubs are diversifying their offering. Many now offer live music, quizzes, themed nights with special deals, and interesting drink ranges, including cocktails, flavoured gins and a variety of cask ales.

As a result, the pub and bar sector is still hugely profitable. In fact, the pub industry makes £21 billion in revenue per year and is made up of more than 38,000 businesses. What’s more, IBISWorld states that the sector has actually grown by 1.4 percent annually since 2014. It seems people still love to catch up with friends over a drink or two in their local pub.

Did you know? There are more than 38,000 pubs in the UK.

Because pubs are now diversifying their offering, there are plenty of different models to choose from if you’re interested in running your own business. Gastropubs focus on serving high-quality food, often in a beautifully decorated or trendy buildings, while more traditional pubs stick to the basics and offer cheap pints and televisions, pool tables and fruit machines. The key is to identify the type of pub that would be profitable in the location you’ve chosen.

If you’re keen to get involved in this exciting industry, why not start a pub franchise? Take a look below at some of our pub franchise opportunities in the UK.



Start your own pub with a franchise

Running a franchise in the pub sector offers the chance to be your own boss, work flexible hours, chat to locals and be a core part of the local community. However, it also comes with many challenges. If you want your business to be a success, you should be prepared to put in the hard work, dedication, patience and long working hours.

But, if you’ve done your research and are sure you’ve got what it takes to succeed, take a look below at some of the best pub franchise opportunities in the UK.

Marston’s

This pub franchise appreciates that a local pub is the heart of a British community and it is a hub of socialisation, celebration, commiseration, relaxation, reflection and enjoyment. It has been up and running for over 180 years and has approximately 14,300 people working for it.

  • Becoming a franchisee with Marston’s: The franchise model operates under the ‘Urban’ or ‘Village’ formats. The Urban pubs are set up in vibrant and exciting environments and put their own twist on pub classics, such as offering street food and premium drinks brands. The Village format is known for its more friendly community atmosphere and Sunday lunches. Head to Marston’s website today to call the recruitment team, fill in an online application form or register your interest in a Discovery Day.
     
  • How much you need to invest: In order to invest, you will need a minimum investment of £25,000 plus working capital.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Marston’s will provide a ‘Fit for Franchise’ initial training programme and there will be a designated area manager to answer any questions.

Fullers

This pub chain focuses on “unique character and true authenticity”. Its roots can be traced back to 1845 but, today, there are around 400 Fullers pubs dotted across the UK. This business also owns pizza and craft cider restaurant The Stable and country inn chain, Bel & The Dragon. Although Fullers doesn’t specify that it offers franchising opportunities, it does enlist business partners to run branches of its pubs.

  • Becoming a franchisee with Fullers: Firstly, fill in the Contact Us or Tenancy Application form. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be added to Fullers’ database and contacted by the recruitment manager. If you’ve found a pub you’re interested in on the franchise’s vacancy list, you can fill in the specific form at the bottom of the page. Then, you’ll need to attend an interview, write a business plan and get an Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH). You should also obtain a Food Safety Certificate and complete the BII Pre-Entry Awareness Training (PEAT).
     
  • How much you need to invest: You can contact Fullers to find out how much it would cost you to start your own franchise unit.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Fullers supports its business partners to create strong pubs by providing high-quality training and expert guidance. You’ll also get your own website, buildings insurance, membership of the BII and access to free trade discounts.

“Even though this was our first pub, we have never felt that anyone was breathing down our necks. It has always been about trust – Fuller’s trusting us to do things our way, and us knowing they’re there whenever we need them.” – Dave & Stacey Wallis, The Farmer’s Boy, Kensworth

Greene King

This is another pub chain that doesn’t offer franchising opportunities specifically, but does initiate licensing agreements and allow business partners to take on their own pub under the company’s brand identity. There are over 2,700 Greene King pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK. The brand owns several different names, from Hungry Horse and Wacky Warehouse to Loch Fyne Seafood & Grill, so it can take advantage of a number of customer demographics and revenue streams.

  • Becoming a franchisee with Greene King: There are several options open to you:

Tenancy agreement – Rent a pub and employ staff members. You’ll be classed as self-employed and have shared responsibility for property repairs. This type of agreement usually lasts around five years and you can’t sell on the goodwill of the business.

Lease agreement – Rent a pub and employ staff members. You’ll be classed as self-employed, but you’ll have full responsibility for property repairs. Leases come with long-term agreements and last for more than 10 years. You can sell on the goodwill of the business.

Managed house agreement – Become an employee in a brewery or pub company and be paid to manage a pub. Other workers will also be hired by your employer and you won’t be responsible for any repairs.

Free house agreement – Own the pub and run it as a self-employed manager. You’ll hire other staff members and have full responsibility for repairs.

  • How much you need to invest: Your investment figure will depend upon the franchise agreement you take out. You can get a sense of the required amount by contacting the business.
     
  • What you get for your investment: There are a number of perks for Greene King licensees. You’ll get ‘beer quality’ training, access to a support website, the use of social media images and the chance to order stock online. You’ll even get expert advice on business operations and legal issues, as you’ll be assigned a business development manager, operations director, credit account team and cellar service group.


Pull pints with your own pub franchise

Signing a pub franchise or license agreement can be a great way to start your own business with the added security of a successful brand behind you. Not only will you get access to a proven business model, but you can also bank on operational support, expert advice and an existing customer pool.

To learn more, why not find out what it takes to run a Marston’s pub franchise? You can learn everything you need to know right here.

>> Read more articles on the Pub & Bar sector

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