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Here you can find licensed trade news and updates, the weekly e-newsletter INNfocus, past editions of the BII News (our quarterly magazine), and hear all about our latest industry campaigns.

BII launches network of Independent Accredited Advisors

The BII has proudly supported licensed trade individuals running pubs across the UK for over 40 years

Having provided essential business support across all critical areas of their businesses, the BII continually looks to further enhance their services, keeping pubs thriving at the heart of their communities.

The BII understands how challenging trading is for licensees from their extensive surveys and regular conversations with members, particularly as they start their road to recovery after the severe impact of the pandemic.

It is essential that these vital small businesses get independent, expert advice as they face critical decisions, especially with major commercial lifecycle events; entering into formal agreements with landlords, where conditions in agreements are substantially changing, and when considering sizeable capital investments in their businesses.

The BII are therefore facilitating independent expert panels to accredit professional advisors for the licensed trade for Chartered Surveyors, Accountants & Solicitors.  The expert panels, formed of leading professionals in their respective fields will set accreditation criteria, oversee the appointment of accredited advisors against these criteria and review complaints which may ultimately result in formal removal of the accreditation from advisors.  An independent Governance board made up of the Chairs of the three expert panels will ensure the accreditation scheme is delivered effectively and deal with any appeals from the independent expert panels.

The accreditation scheme has been designed to provide trusted professional advisors for licensees who meet the highest standards of professionalism, have full liability insurance, the required skills and expertise and in-depth knowledge of the pub industry.  This will ensure licensees get effective business advice allowing them to start, protect and develop their businesses with confidence.

In the recent Statutory Review of the Pubs Code and the Pubs Code Adjudicator: 2016-2019, this requirement was formally recognised by Government, the Department for Business, Enterprise & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and separately supported by the Pubs Code Adjudicator.  The Pubs Code review stated that the Government will:

• work with the PCA on ways to find out more about new tenants’ understanding of their Code rights and what informed their decision to enter into a tied tenancy agreement. 
• not restrict who can provide advice to tied tenants but work with the PCA and representative groups on how to disseminate information to tenants to help them to access appropriate, professional advice and consider whether an expert panel approach, as offered by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) to its members, could increase the availability of independent advice for tied tenants. 

Fiona Dickie, Pubs Code Adjudicator commented:
“I welcome this industry initiative and I’m pleased to see participating pub-owning businesses seeking to ensure tenants, and prospective tenants, receive good quality professional advice. This advice can be key to tenants using their Code rights successfully throughout their tenancy – including before they sign on the dotted line”.

The accreditation scheme will be implemented and administered by the BII and will be open to all of its members. The BII also remains committed to continuing to provide and promote an independent member helpdesk providing access to support with Pubco and Landlord matters.  In addition, for those companies fully committed to the BII, we will set up a membership for tenants at appointment, giving them the professional help they require prior to signing an agreement as well access to a full suite of BII member benefits to help them to successfully build their business.

The scheme is due to launch in early 2022 and today the BII is calling for any Solicitor, Chartered Surveyor and Accountancy company to nominate those wishing to be on the Accredited Advisor panels. These advisors will be subject to a formal application form and interview by senior colleagues (the expert panels) in their fields before they are accepted and will be expected to meet the criteria set by their peers. 

A list of the criteria and rules can be found on the BII website here.
Those interested should send an email to [email protected]

Steven Alton CEO of the BII commented “We recognise the significant challenges facing our members who independently operate pubs across the UK, and we pride ourselves on providing impartial, expert support across all key areas to these vital small businesses at the heart of their communities.

“Providing access to these BII accredited advisors, independently appointed by their peers, further strengthens our ability to support our members, to ensure they can thrive, accessing professional advice with key decisions in their business.”

On-trade venues invited to claim free point of sale materials for Drinkaware drink-drive Home and Dry campaign  

Drinkaware is inviting on-trade owners and managers to claim free point of sale materials for its drink-driving campaign, Home and Dry.

While the sector continues to juggle many different priorities, Drinkaware will arrange delivery of packs to individual venues with no charge for materials or postage to provide as much support as possible.   
 
Adam Jones, Drinkaware’s director of business development and partnerships explained “We launched Home and Dry in association with the British Beer & Pub Association and the Government’s Think! campaign in March 2020. It was designed to support hospitality venues in providing a safe and enjoyable environment for all customers, by encouraging designated drivers to go alcohol free and get home safely. Hospitality was closed shortly afterwards but with Christmas fast-approaching, we felt it was time to resume the campaign and support on-trade operators by providing the materials free of charge and direct to their venue, for use over the festive period and throughout 2022.” 
 
Drinkaware is taking responsibility for all distribution, simplifying the process and costs for head offices and site operators, and making it straightforward for everyone to take part in the campaign. Home and Dry materials are available to anyone running a licenced on-trade venue, subject to stock availability. 
 
According to the latest Government figures available for road accidents[1], an estimated 7,800 people were killed or injured in 2019 when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit. That’s more than 21 people a day. The Home and Dry campaign aims to make a difference by reinforcing Drinkaware’s advice – that it is safest to go completely alcohol-free if you are driving. 
 
“Home and Dry will help operators make a difference by raising awareness of the dangers of drink-driving and helping to protect locals and the community” added Adam Jones. “The Drinkaware Home and Dry campaign packs are designed to provide support for hospitality by encouraging customers to enjoy their time in pubs and bars but to choose an alcohol-free alternative if they are driving. The packs available include a t-shirt, bar runners, mirror vinyls, beer mats and poster and digital images are also available for use on social media and in e-communications with staff and customers.”  
 
Accessing the materials while stocks last is being made as simple as possible and anyone who wants to apply or find out more information is asked to contact [email protected] , including the number of packs required, the venue address they need to be sent to and a contact number.  There is no limit on the number of packs that can be claimed but stock is limited and will be handled on a first come, first-served basis, so early registration is advised. 
 
www.drinkaware.co.uk 

World's Biggest Pub Quiz to return in March 2022 in support of Shelter

The World’s Biggest Pub Quiz will be returning to pubs in March next year, with a new charity partner in Shelter and a new way to host and play using online quiz platform Kwizzbit. 

After a year out due to lockdown, organisers PubAid are hoping for a record number of pubs and customers taking part and a record sum raised for charity. 

Pubs will be encouraged to run the Quiz between 14th and 20th March, though there is flexibility to host it at any time during the month. The Quiz is free for pubs to run. For further information and to save the date: https://worldsbiggestquiz.pubaid.com/

PubAid founder Des O’Flanagan said: “We’re delighted to be back after Covid forced us to cancel the Quiz earlier this year. Shelter’s work with people facing homelessness has never been more important, so we’re confident there will be widespread support for the charity among pubgoers. 

“We took the opportunity during our time out to explore ways of ways of refreshing the quiz and we’re pleased to be working with Kwizzbit, which allows licensees to host a traditional, fun pub quiz on their smartphone, with technology making it easier to run and offering features that make it more engaging for customers and drive greater footfall into the pub.”  

Homeless charity Shelter was chosen as the quiz’s new partner following the Covid lockdown. Currently, 91 families become homeless every day in England.  Money raised in the Quiz will help Shelter give information, advice and support to those facing homelessness.

Pubs will be encouraged to host the quiz in aid of Shelter, but have the freedom to support another charity. A number of pubs choose to divide funds raised from their quiz between the charity partner and a cause closer to home.

All pubs signing up to host the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz will receive a free fundraising pack including posters and social media assets, to help them host a quiz that brings customers into their pub for a fun-filled evening that raises money for a worthy cause. 

Using Kwizzbit offers licensees a number of benefits over a traditional paper quiz. Instead of having to mark sheets, scores are calculated after every question to generate real time leaderboards, saving time and creating a competitive, engaging atmosphere. It’s also cheat-proof, as faster answers score more points, and it’s simple to run: all you need is internet access.

The World’s Biggest Pub Quiz was launched in 2016, and has raised a total of £750,000 for hundreds of charities.
 
Max Newton, Head of Community Fundraising at Shelter, said: “Everyone at Shelter is absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz. We’re looking forward to communities across the country coming together in their local pub to have fun and quiz. The money they raise will help us be there for anyone facing homelessness.”

Shelter will be promoting the Quiz across their supporters and via its network of shops in towns and city centres. 

Hospitality's Christmas bookings hope, as Omicron declared 'mild'

The hard-pressed hospitality sector received a much-needed boost today, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) announcement that cases of the Covid-19 variant Omicron appear to be ‘mild’.

That, coupled with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging people and businesses to go ahead with Christmas and New Year parties, could slow the number of those cancelling bookings.

Anecdotal evidence gathered by the hospitality industry since the variant emerged a week ago suggests there were cancellations in direct response to Omicron’s emergence. However, latest feedback from operators points to a slowing of cancellations, with many people determined to go ahead with parties.

Venues such as pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs have invested heavily to ensure the safety of staff and customers, focusing on better ventilation, hygiene and sanitation, measures which SAGE recommend are the most effective measures of infection control. This means hospitality venues will be safer places at which to socialise with family and friends this Christmas than at home.

But the slow-down in cancellations is small comfort for hospitality, after latest figures revealed that the sector has been hit by a 30% slump in Christmas bookings even before the emergence of Omicron.

A recent survey of hundreds of hospitality operators, representing tens of thousands of venues, reveals bookings for the festive period were down 12.4% on average based on expectations from 2019, while 56% of respondents said bookings were below what they had hoped. Alarmingly, 22% of those polled in the survey said that, even prior to Omicron, festive bookings were more than 30% below expectations

Reflecting this, operators in the sector are losing confidence. A new survey of business leaders in the sector shows confidence levels in the market have fallen 7 percentage points to 51% in this quarter versus Q3 and are down by 16 percentage points to 54% when it comes to their own businesses. 

In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer & Pub Association said: “The full range of hospitality venues across the UK would usually be experiencing their annual bookings bonanza at this time of year, but it hadn’t materialised even before Omicron was first detected.  

“The WHO announcement that Omicron infections are generally mild, plus government promptings for festive gatherings to go ahead as planned, offer a crumb of comfort, and could at least slow the slew of cancellations the sector has experienced in the week since Omicron was discovered.

“We’d therefore urge those with bookings not to cancel them, but to carry on and enjoy their festive season parties, safe in the knowledge that hospitality venues are doing everything they can to ensure people have a safe and fun Christmas and New Year.” 

Hospitality trade bodies unite to combat drink spiking

Four leading trade bodies have joined forces to ensure customer safety amid growing concerns about drink spiking at hospitality venues across the UK.

UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), and Hospitality Ulster have teamed-up to produce a suite of resources aimed at helping operators combat drink spiking and protect customers.

Recent weeks have seen increasing reports of drink spiking, in which substances are added to people’s drinks without their knowledge. Alcohol is the most common substance added, but illegal or legal drugs are often used. 

 The associations have jointly produced a factsheet that brings together in one place resources to help operators bolster the work they are already doing to ensure their venues remain safe places in which to enjoy a night out.

 In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the BBPA, the BII and Hospitality Ulster said: 

 “Drink spiking is a despicable crime and cannot be tolerated. Everyone has a right to feel safe during a night out, which is why as a sector we work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment.

 “Although the number of drink spiking reports remain low, any such incidents underline the need to protect the welfare and maintain of customers. It is why we continue to collaborate with the police and other local stakeholders to ensure everyone can enjoy a fun night out.”

 To prevent incidents happening in the first place, some venues now offer anti-spiking bottle stoppers and protective drink covers, while some local authorities and police forces are providing drug testing kits. The main preventative measure, though, remains well-trained, vigilant and supportive staff that know how to respond to situations they witness or which are reported to them.

 At licensed venues, door staff, customer search procedures, CCTV and metal detectors also help prevent drink spiking but if an incident does occur, operators should take three steps: 

  •  Always act on the report – activate your venue’s safeguarding procedures and act to identify suspects
  •  Ensure the health and safety of the affected customer – call the emergency services, ensure they are with trusted friends who will look after them, offer assistance, provide them with a safe space 
  •  Log and record the incident for the emergency services and in order to take further internal action. 

Operators are also being encouraged to make their venues unappealing to those seeking to commit crimes by using posters and social media to urge customers to be vigilant; training staff to identify issues before they arise; and by taking practical and physical measures, such as anti-spiking bottle stoppers.

 The available resources for operators include posters, training for staff, advice and guidance as well as a film aimed at supporting vulnerable people, provided by a range of sources including the Night Time Industries Association, CPL Learning, Safer Sounds – WAVE Training, National Pubwatch and the Mayor of London.

Read the guidance here

BII Licensee of the Year 2021... and the winner is!

The BII Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK. Since June 2021, operators from across the UK have been whittled down from an exceptional field of over 200 entrants to crown the BII Licensee of the Year 2021.

Following a final judging day at Sky Head Quarters on Monday 22nd November, where each of the 6 finalists faced 4 panels of industry experts and operators, Jason and Chris Black from the Pityme Inn in Wadebridge, were named as the champions!
 
 Chris and Jason had been strong competitors from the start, which saw them score highly across all areas including mystery customer visits and web and social media audits, as well as their on-site judging visit from judges Sue Allen and Paul Pavli. Their performance on the final judging day sealed the deal for these fantastic operators who have proved they have what it takes to be the best licensees in the UK.
 
 The team from the Pityme Inn picked up their winner’s trophy in front of an audience of over 900 people at this year’s BII Winter Event, hosted on Tuesday 23rd November at the incredible Old Billingsgate, attended by the brightest and best from the industry. 
 
 Damian Saunders, Managing Director of Sky Business said:
 
 “A huge congratulations to Jason and Chris for winning the Licensee of the Year Award. Sky is delighted to sponsor this award and play a part in recognising the individuals that have achieved so much in the industry, particularly after the incredible challenges they have faced over the last 18 months.”
 
 Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the BII commented:
 
 “I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Chris and Jason on behalf of myself and the whole team here at the BII, including our fantastic judges. This is the most rigorous and intense competition in our industry, but it was clear to the judges that they had the dedication and passion deserving of a Licensee of the Year winner. I’d also like to congratulate our other finalists, as getting to the finals of this competition is an incredible achievement in itself.”
 
 As winner of Licensee of the Year competition, they will receive a year’s free Pubs and Clubs subscription to Sky Sports, £500 towards a party in their pub to celebrate with their staff and a model of their pub created by artist Bunty May Marshall to commemorate their win.
 
 The BII would also like to thank everyone who entered this year’s competition, despite the huge challenges they faced during the course of the pandemic. The LOYA competition will return to its original place in the calendar next year, so they will be launching their hunt for the future winners in a short few weeks in January 2022! 

Behind the smiles, the stark reality facing our Great British Pubs

Our Great British pubs, at the heart of every community, are part of our national heritage and have always been the envy of the world.

Their very future now hangs in the balance as they start on the road to recovery after 18 months of closure or severe trading restrictions. Once viable and vibrant businesses, they are now facing years of recovery and for many, they are seriously considering just giving up entirely. 

What is clearly missed by many is that the majority of UK pubs are independently operated. Led by entrepreneurs, they provide essential skilled employment in every community and support many local businesses, not least the fantastic local brewers that bring unique products to our pubs with regional beers. These are not corporate giants with extensive financial resources, they are small local business supporting livelihoods and homes.

The financial realities for pubs are stark; loss making for nearly a year and a half, many have used all their personal savings including pensions, to stay afloat. Despite Government support, many have also had to take additional debt of over £50,000 and are now facing significant cost increases for food, drink and utilities. The majority of pubs are expected to take more than four years to pay this debt back. The long-awaited start of the road to recovery is now also being severely impacted by chronic staff shortages, wage inflation, on top of reduced trading levels leading to further losses.

The true value of our nation’s pubs is too quickly overlooked. In fact, many feel that they have been demonized through the pandemic as a risk to public health, despite the compelling evidence to the contrary. Pubs provide tangible social value in every community in tackling many key social issues, including the chronic impact of loneliness and isolation. A recent study by Loughborough University demonstrated that for every £1 invested in community pubs they delivered £9 in social value. This is why we at the BII care so passionately about our nation’s pubs, they are at the heart of our social fabric connecting us all. 

What makes our nation’s pubs so very special is that they provide a unique space in our communities where we come together to celebrate, commiserate and to simply catch up. However, pubs are just bricks and mortar without a great Landlord or Landlady and their team. They have reached out to their communities throughout the pandemic providing essential support and services particularly caring for the vulnerable, all of this whilst their doors were closed. We have seen the enormous contribution they make within their communities and we at the British Institute of Innkeeping have proudly recognised over 130 examples of this outstanding work through our Heart of the Community Award.

Our sector is led by entrepreneurs who are optimistic in nature, however, this alone will not be enough to safeguard our nation’s vital pubs. They will need ongoing support particularly as their key summer trading has been devastated through restrictions and ‘pingdemic’ closures. The existing support packages must be extended, long term reform of business rates reducing this unfair tax burden, a continued reduced level of VAT for our sector and a significant specific beer duty cut for pubs to help drinks led community pubs who have suffered most heavily.  This is an investment in viable businesses, with over 900,000 people employed in the pub sector, and with an average pub generating £140,000 per year in revenues to the Treasury, it is one that will be quickly repaid.  

We have been taking the voices of our members throughout the pandemic directly to Government and I am encouraged to see the economic and social contribution of pubs recognised at the heart of the recently published Hospitality Strategy, the first ever. We will continue to work closely with Government to ensure that this strategy is turned into action to safeguard our nation’s pubs. Our sector offers significant value to the nation’s economic recovery through skilled employment, careers and opportunities for entrepreneurs to build great businesses in every community.

They will need help now more than ever from all stakeholders, including local authorities as well as central Government. It will take time for many to rebuild their teams, retrain them and meet all of the operational standards that we expect of great pubs. They will also need every opportunity to diversify in order to rebuild their fragile businesses and they will need support and collaboration to make this happen. At long last our pubs have had formal recognition from Government that their fortunes are central to our economic recovery and the rebuilding of our high streets. They are a critical element of tourism across the UK whilst also providing an essential community space for all.  They deserve our support.

The smile greeting you at your local pub is very real and so is the threat to their very existence.

Are your products generating high profit levels to the till?

A recent report looking at the often undervalued and neglected topic of product yield within the pub sector has been launched by Venners, the expert food and beverage stocktakers and compliance auditors to the hospitality industry.

The business analysed over 3,000 sites across the industry, with data collected from just under 22,000 stocktakes, to discover how yield analysis can save pub operators up to £10,000 in annual lost profits.

 The report advises on how sectional yield analysis can expose underperforming product categories, which if addressed, can generate lucrative levels of profit to the till. It explains how product yield percentages can be used by pub operators to quickly and accurately compare sales performance across multiple sites and against competitors. However, more importantly, yield percentages tell businesses how product consumption levels actually perform against achievable sales.

 The findings within the report show significant yield margin differences between sectors in the industry, with wet-led pubs returning on average 3% higher yields on drink products than food-led operations. Regional differences are also identified, with Scottish and London based operators tending to achieve far lower yields than those in the North and South West. These variations in yield may be due to cultural differences in the running of an operation. Furthermore, annual profit losses can be almost £10,000 higher per site for the worst performing postcodes.

 When further analysing the pub sector results, the poorest performing category is packaged beers and ciders at 97.6%. The current industry expectation for this category, including both draught and packaged products stands at 99.5%, so the sector is currently losing 2% average of yield on this category alone. The report concludes that wastage should be much lower for this category and especially against draught beer, which is affected by several extra variables. Interestingly, pubs achieve the highest average yield for wine at 98.84%, compared to all hospitality segment averages.

 Additionally, the report identifies several key factors affecting drink yields within the pub sector as follows:

 Over-pouring: Curtailing generous servings is highly recommended, as this practice can tremendously impact yield and profits. A good example is given by way of a Mixologist showcasing their cocktail skills, but in the process of pouring spirits into the jigger, allows it to overflow into the glass, thereby defeating the point of using the jigger. Pub operators that train teams to follow recommended guidelines on volumes per glass will naturally reap the benefits.

 Topping up: In most pub operations, postmix is the product that generates the highest margins. The practice of topping up, for example, with a spirit and mixer that does not fill the glass, can have dramatic impacts on achieved margin and yield. If a postmix system dispenses set volumes, it is recommended that staff do not top up without charging. This practice was found to be the most common failing, even in the best run pubs.

 Oversized glasses: Perception of volume is another factor that can impact yield and oversized beer and wine glasses can often be the main perpetrators. Teams have been found to top up drinks to avoid appearing as though they are serving meagre portions, whilst some customers have been found to be displeased with a large glass that appears not to be full and requested top ups.

 Equipment: Regular maintenance and checking of equipment can sometimes be neglected in busy pub venues. Some equipment is key to product yield. Leaking taps or dispensers are the perfect example for stock being unnecessarily wasted. A dripping tap may seem quite harmless, but over the space of a week, several pints will have disappeared down the drain.

 Promotional sales: Using promotional sales to sell more stock is a common practice in the trade. It is therefore acceptable to knowingly lower the yield of a product, as long as there is a return in sales volume. For example, a drink may cost £2, however, a promotion may offer the second drink for half price. The product yield in such an instance would be 75%. An astute pub operator will compare the impact on yield against the increase in profit expected from the volume in sales. The key is to ensure enough revenue has been generated from the sale of the first drink, so the sale of the second does not negatively impact profits.

Scott Hulme, Managing Director, Venners comments: “If nothing is wasted or given away, it should be possible to achieve a 100% yield on products. Whilst many pub operators have good levels of sales, if they are haemorrhaging stock through poor controls, then their operation is destined to fail. Understanding the nuances in product yield variances is one simple way for licensees to maintain a more stable bottom line. Irrespective of revenue, suppliers, cost or selling prices, yield cuts across all data to give licensees a perfect benchmark figure, which is why yield translates across companies – whether a local community tenancy or mega pub company.”

To find out how the correct yield analysis can save your pub up to £10,000 in annual lost profits visit https://www.venners.com/yield-analysis

Publicans invited to join in new Christmas Plus One campaign created to help connect people and communities this December by using their pub as the festive hub

Christmas Plus One aims to help people feeling lonely and benefit pubs, Pub customers encouraged to give someone a ‘Plus One’ invite to pub in December.
A national ‘Christmas Plus One Day’ is taking place on 14 December, which publicans are encouraged to put on events for Initiative highlights the social value of pubs and publicans.

Publicans are being invited to help raise awareness of a new seasonal campaign, encouraging their customers to help tackle loneliness in their area, by taking someone as a ‘Plus One’ to the pub in December. 

Christmas Plus One is being organised by the Together Coalition, as a way to build kinder, closer, more connected communities by bringing people together and bridging divides. This Christmas they are giving all members of the UK public a ‘Plus One’
www.together.org.uk/christmasplusone, inviting them to take their Christmas cheer one step further and involve someone new in their festive plans.

The initiative is being supported by Pub is The Hub, who run Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’, Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness - Pub is The Hub, a campaign which supports publicans to help tackle loneliness in their local area, and Heineken UK, who are getting involved in Christmas Plus One through its annual Brewing Good Cheer campaign.

Join in Christmas Plus One Day
Publicans are also being encouraged to take part with an event or activity on a national Christmas Plus One Day on Tuesday, 14 December, when people across the country will come together around this national day to help spread some festive joy. Alongside this pub customers, charities, community groups and volunteers are being asked to do small acts of kindness throughout December and take someone along as a ‘Plus One’ to their pub for a chat, a drink, some food or community event.

Resources to help publicans getting involved
Publicans can find Christmas Plus One resources, including a guide with information and ideas on getting involved, a poster to highlight the campaign to their customers and social media tools here: Christmas Plus One - Pub is The Hub
 
Deborah Kemp, ambassador for loneliness for the ‘Join Inn - Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign, said: “By encouraging customers to bring a ‘Plus One’ along to the pub in December publicans can not only make a difference to someone’s day, but potentially make their pub accessible to a whole new audience, community group or local volunteers.”

Simple actions can make a big difference
Kemp adds: “We appreciate Christmas is already a busy and challenging time for publicans, but there are many simple ways to join in and make a difference with Christmas Plus One. This new initiative is all about connecting people and their communities at a time of celebration and goodwill - a time of year when so many might feel that no one cares.”

Research in Together’s Talk/Together*  report highlights that 73% of people say they would like society to be closer and more connected in the future.

Heineken UK pubs and staff joining in and Brewing Good Cheer
HEINEKEN UK’s pub business Star Pubs & Bars are among those already getting involved in the campaign, including its 140 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs who will be hosting events throughout December.

As with previous years HEINEKEN will also be offering all their 2,300 employees the opportunity to volunteer in Christmas Plus One through their Brewing Good Cheer campaign.

Easy to get involved

Kim FitzGibbon, licensee at Star Pubs & Bars’ pub The Drill in Romford, Essex, said: “I am looking forward to bringing some festive joy to customers this year, especially after missing out last Christmas. The Christmas Plus One campaign is a great way to remind people to think about those who would love to have more social interaction with others and may feel socially isolated.”

She adds: “We will be highlighting the campaign and hope that customers will act on it and bring someone with them to the pub to enjoy a pint or meal. We can all do our bit and it's not a big ask, so I do hope other pubs get involved too."

‘Pubs play vital role in combating social isolation’
 
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We are delighted to be getting behind the Christmas Plus One campaign as pubs play a vital role in helping combat social isolation in their communities.  It is an issue HEINEKEN feels passionately about and is the focus of our Brewing Good Cheer campaign which has been in place since 2017.”

He adds: “All of our 140 managed operator Just Add Talent pubs will be offering a free meal or drinks this year, building on the support many of our pubs have provided to communities throughout the pandemic, and continue to do on an ongoing basis.”
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