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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.

Managing Bad Behaviour in your Pub

We have received a number of calls from members recently who have experienced bad behaviour in their pub that resulted in removing customers from the venue. Edited smartphone footage has then been used to make legal claims, several weeks after CCTV footage had been deleted. Without proof of the bad behaviour in question, you will leave yourself open to potential legal issues, so we have created the following guidance to ensure you can protect your pub, your teams and yourself.

In the lifecycle of a busy pub, you will inevitably have times where you have more customers visiting your venue than usual, whether it is an unexpected sunny day, Bank Holiday weekend, or for a sporting event, such as the upcoming Euros 24.

It’s important to be prepared for the behaviours you may have to deal with at these times, and to understand your rights as the operator or designated premises supervisor (DPS). We have collaborated with our Trusted Partners and Helpline providers, John Gaunt & Partners & Bhayani Law to give you some key guidance in this area.

You CAN turn large groups away if you feel you can’t accommodate them

If you have no table space, your venue is too crowded, or you feel that you can’t look after a large group, then you have the right to refuse them service. You will have occupancy stipulated within your fire risk assessment and you always need to be aware of reservations you may have for later in the day. You also have obligations under Health and Safety legislation to ensure the area occupied by the public is safe. It is best practice to explain the reason for the group being turned away so there is no confusion as to why that decision has been made. 

Refusal of service

You are within your rights to refuse service to any individuals who are disruptive, aggressive or behaving inappropriately. Again, it is important that all staff feel capable and supported to make this decision. If the refusal is related to any individuals that are excessively drunk, it is important that this is recorded. 

Bring more staff in for the event and consider having a security presence

It isn’t always possible to have more staff on shift, but if you know the pub will be very busy, then do try to ensure you have adequate resource to support you, and your team. Even if you don’t have a regular security presence, consider the event or occasion you are hosting and whether it would be an appropriate step.

Enhanced training

Training around conflict management and how to deal with difficult situations calmly and professionally is useful, especially for less experienced members of your team. Diversity and vulnerability training is also highly recommended to ensure you are caring for all of your customer demographics.

A record should be kept of all staff training undertaken (including details of course and its objectives) as a useful tool to show the steps being taken by you as an operator to keep you staff and customers safe at your premises. 
Tackle behaviours, not individuals

When you experience unacceptable behaviours in your venue, remember to address the behaviour itself and NOT the individual or group of individuals involved. When incidents occur, remain calm and professional at all times and ensure that you are mindful of all of your customers– any action you take should be centred on the unacceptable behaviour they have displayed, and not on who they are.

Document any incidents

This is a vital step. If you have any incidents, you must document them in writing as soon as possible after the event. When documenting incidents in writing, ensure that all and any staff members involved are also noted down should evidence need to be gathered at a later date. A contemporaneous and detailed incident report is a strong and reliable piece of evidence in any potential legal proceedings.  As a belts and braces approach you could have more than one member of staff involved to sign the incident report. 

If you have CCTV, ensure that you save and keep any footage/recordings you have for at least 6 months following the incident. With everyone having access to smartphones, you need to have proof of anything that has happened, to counteract any potentially edited footage.

Don’t assume that you can delete footage after a week or so, as you may need it in the case of recurring issues or potential legal action.

Establish a good relationship with local law enforcement

Ensure you have good local connections where possible and consider joining your local Pubwatch scheme or engage with Best Bar None, who can support you with safer socialising in your local community.

Have good relations and lines of communication with other venues in your immediate area so if trouble starts elsewhere you are aware and can take appropriate action to avoid it migrating to your venue.

If you have any concerns about behaviour in your venue, then you can contact our helplines and speak to our team, who will signpost you to the right expert guidance.

BII Helpdesk – 01276 684449

Legal & Licensing Helpline – John Gaunt & Partners  
0330 058 3878 – Option 2


HR & Employment Law (can also advice on Diversity and Vulnerability) 
0330 058 3878 – Option 1

Introducing Sky Sports+, giving more choice to Businesses via Live Streams and a new Dedicated Channel

Launching this August, Sky Sports+ will be transformational in the amount of choice venues will have access to via live streams and a dedicated new channel. With more coverage than ever before from the EFL, both tennis Tours and men’s Super League, venues with a connected Sky Q box will be able to stream over 50% more live sport this year.
 
Sky Sports+ will make it easier for venues to browse, discover and show the sport that matters most to their customers. Venues with a connected Sky Q box will have the ability to choose up to 100 live events via concurrent streams, giving more opportunity to drive footfall, spend and dwell time than ever before. And the new dedicated Sky Sports+ TV channel will showcase a selection of the best live sport.

Sky Sports+ comes at the start of a new long-term and landmark partnership with the EFL, with over 1,000 EFL games a season featuring every team more than 20 times and every Championship club on at least 24 occasions. The scale of Sky Sports+ will be evident from the opening weekend of the 2024/25 season, with every game from the Championship, League One and League Two streamed live – a first in broadcasting history.

Jonathan Licht, Managing Director at Sky Sports, said: “Exceptional sport, covered in an innovative and compelling way, has been a big part of our history. With the introduction of Sky Sports+, we are now able to offer sport fans more choice and an even better experience when watching the live action.

“For the first time, we will broadcast every game live from across the EFL on the opening weekend. It’s going to be a huge moment for football fans up and down the country and is a fitting way to kick off our ground-breaking new partnership with the EFL. And this is just the beginning; Sky Sports+ unlocks the potential for us to keep evolving and finding new ways to deliver brilliant sport to our customers.”

Damian Saunders, Managing Director at Sky Business Hospitality, said: “The launch of Sky Sports+ is great news for our hospitality customers. Venues with Sky Q will have more freedom to choose which match they show, meaning they can select the games that matters most to their customers. 

With all 72 teams from across the EFL shown at least 20 times throughout the season - plus every game from the entirety of the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy –venues can now offer a more localised, personalised sports viewing experience to help boost trade throughout the week.” 

All Sky Business customers with Sky Sports will receive the new dedicated Sky Sports+ TV channel. To access the full Sky Sports+ live streaming experience, Sky Business customers will need a connected Sky Q box. 

The full Sky Sports package includes an unrivalled line-up of sport and record audiences tuned in during 2023. Football fans can watch more coverage of domestic leagues with Sky Sports than any other broadcaster, including Premier League, EFL, SPFL, and WSL. Through long-term deals, sport fans can continue to enjoy award-winning coverage of Formula 1 and England domestic cricket. 2024 has also seen the return of tennis and a ground-breaking Super League deal where every match will be covered live. This, on top every golf Major, NFL, netball, darts, boxing, summer rugby union internationals, means that Sky Sports has something for every sports fan.

Yr Eagles Provides a Safe Space to Help Local Peoples' Health and Wellbeing

Yr Eagles in Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd, is supporting the activities of community groups as part of its approach to tackle social isolation and support the wellbeing of local people.

Expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub was provided to purchase a new PA system which will support both the pub’s busy calendar of social events and local groups. 

Pub is The Hub, is a not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services. It is supporting projects in rural areas across Wales after receiving a grant of £25,000 from The Royal Countryside Fund.

Llanuwchllyn is an isolated, rural community with a strong agricultural background and few public services. The pub has always been the centre of the community and when the owners, who had run the pub for over 20 years decided to retire, the community joined together to purchase the premises in 2023. The pub has already diversified its services with a village store on site for locals to pick up essentials and their newspapers. 

The pub is focused on being a hub for local community groups that cater for all ages and backgrounds and provide them with a venue for social events. It is already the base for two choirs, two local football teams and various agricultural support groups. 

The plan is to extend its support to local groups and community events to help tackle the major issues in the area of loneliness and social isolation. 

A new quiz night has already been launched with plans for bingo nights, information evenings on welfare and social issues, fashion shows and talks for community groups. 

Huw Antur, secretary to the community benefit society, which owns the pub said: “Yr Eagles is much more than a pub. It is the only pub in the community and the hub of the local area. Llanuwchllyn is an area renowned for its community spirit but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was terrible. The aim is to bring back community events and activities to Yr Eagles and the wider community and support the wellbeing of local residents.” 

Publican Zoe Smith who runs the premises with her husband Jonathan said: “It is so important that we are somewhere that people can come to have that conversation and social interaction that is so important for health and wellbeing.” 

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Malcolm Harrison added: “This pub is already having a real social impact people in the local area. These community events will be crucial in overcoming social isolation, especially in such a rural area, and will be a central hub for the region.” 

If you are a pub in Wales that could help your local community by diversifying services please go to www.pubisthehub.org.uk for further details or email [email protected]

A Positive End to Quarter One for the UK On Trade

Oxford Partnership’s On Trade Tracker shows that Easter definitely drove some cheer for the UK hospitality industry, finishing the first quarter of the year on a positive note.

In the four-week period to 31st March, volumes grew +2.4% vs. the same period last year, as consumers celebrated an earlier Easter than 2023 as well as the Six Nations, and a multitude of big Football fixtures. Over the Easter break, Suburban outlets alone saw sales grow by +7.2% in Week 14.

And that’s not all the good news!  Outlet closures slowed in the 4 weeks to only 0.1% compared to   -2.4% in February. 

Plus consumer footfall also showed growth +1.7% year-to-date and we can see a +3% growth over the latter part of the week in Pubs & Bars.

Consumer Dwell time continued to grow +4.9%, again driven by Pubs & Bars +6%, which we are also seeing in the latest Barclays Consumer Insight.

When it comes to the days that have delivered the best results for the on trade, Sunday was the BIG winner for consumer footfall with a huge increase of +23% vs. 23. 

Food Pubs drove this growth with +33% more footfall than a year ago. Other star performers were Bar & Kitchens, where Brunches and Ultimate Roasts have been attracting +31% footfall. Suburban outlets were key to this growth +32% with City Centres behind the pace at +14% vs. 2023.

March’s consumer spending on overall Eating & Drinking saw stronger growth than in February, at +2.6% compared to +2.1%. This was driven by consumers gathering to watch the Six Nations and FA Cup fixtures, and to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  Pubs & Bars drove the growth +3.2% whilst restaurants continued to decline -12.6%. For restaurants the issue continues to be the decline in footfall with transaction volumes -15%, compounded by the declining length of the consumer visits -5.2% per occasion.

From a category perspective, in the 4 weeks we can see that draught Beer & Cider volumes grew +0.7% and year to date +2.3% driven by a welcome return of volume to City Centres and especially London. Stout continued to drive growth +9.6% YTD as well as World Lager +7.3%.

So, all in all, a very healthy end to the first quarter of the year for the UK on trade!

Oxford Pertnership’s On Trade Tracker provides a top-level snapshot of hospitality performance in the UK monthly. The data is drawn from Oxford’s Market Watch, Vianet Plc’s Draught Volume Data Pool and Barclays UK Debit and Credit Transactional Data.
17.04.2024 

Heart of the community: Tafarn yr Heliwr diversifies to help local residents

Tafarn yr Heliwr, in Nefyn, Gwynedd, has diversified its pub’s offer by opening an outdoor events space to help improve health and wellbeing, tackle loneliness and give the opportunity for locals to learn new skills.

Expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub was provided to help with the purchase of a gazebo for the pub’s community garden to provide an all-weather space to bring people together including volunteers, groups and families. The funding has also helped to landscape the garden and create tall, raised beds to support green-fingered volunteers with mobility issues.

Pub is The Hub, is a not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services. It is supporting projects in rural areas across Wales after receiving a grant of £25,000 from The Royal Countryside Fund.

Gardd Yr Heliwr Community Garden was established by volunteers, organised by the pub, who gave around 1,000 hours of their time towards the design and initial development of the project. Many Nefyn residents live in traditional, small, terraced homes with little or no garden space, so the community garden is an important resource for locals.

By creating a new formal seating area inside the gazebo, with benches and chairs, the garden committee plan to enable more activities, such as apple pressing, volunteer training, and coffee and cake mornings.

The new structure will also mean that there is space to hold more events and meetings within the garden, supporting groups to socialise together which can help to tackle rural isolation, and improve wellbeing.

Chair of Yr Heliwr Rhodri Evans said: “This wonderful outdoor events space will encourage local people to spend more time together and volunteer in the garden. It will also provide an outdoor space where we can offer educational as well as social events.”

Pub is The Hub Wales advisor Malcolm Harrison said: “This events space will have a positive impact in helping to bring people together to help combat loneliness and isolation. Volunteering in the garden and using this outdoor space will have a real social benefit for local resident and those in the wider community.”

Tafarn yr Heliwr was an integral part of community life in the conservation area of Nefyn for many generations, until it finally it sadly closed its doors in 2009 along with several other local shops and businesses in the town. In 2018, locals decided there was a real need to get the pub reopened. The building was successfully purchased by the community in November 2018.

If you are a pub in Wales that could help your local community by diversifying services please go to
www.pubisthehub.org.uk for further details or email [email protected]

BII Licensee of the Year 2024 Semi-Finalists Announced

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) is delighted to announce their 12 Semi-Finalists for this year’s Licensee of the Year competition.

In partnership with Sky Business, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK. 

Since the launch in January this year, licensee operators have been entering the competition, showing the judges evidence of how they have been building their businesses and communities, with a focus on their resilience, sustainability, diversification and commitment to their teams. 

This year, the entries and Quarter-Finalists have been of a particularly high standard, making it even more difficult for the team of judges to decide who made the Semi-Finals.

Selected from a field of over 300 entrants, the 12 Semi-Finalists have reached this far in the awards based on their exceptional entry forms, social media and web presence audits as well as mystery customer visits, courtesy of HGEM. Head Judges, Amanda Hemming FBII and Ashley McCarthy CBII, will be making their way across the country over the next few weeks to meet all of the Semi-Finalists in person to experience their businesses first hand. 

The 2024 Licensee of the Year Semi-Finalists are as follows: 
Andrew Goodall – Rose & Crown, Severnstoke – WR8 9JQ 
Benjamin Bullman – The George IV – W4 2DR
Chris Michaelas – The Dartford Sports Bar – DA1 2DJ
Emma Harrison – The Three Hills – CB21 4PW
Harry Seccombe & Nicholas Humphrey – Chaplin’s & The Cellar Bar – BH1 4AG
Helen Paterson – The Cherry Tree – ML2 0BP
Justine Lorriman – The Royal Dyche – BB11 3BW
Max Shaw & Kelly Deary – The Castle Inn – DE74 2PP
Paul Dexter – The Old Swan – NN6 0NA
Sarah Godwin – The Lamb Inn – BS26 2AP
Steve Banks – The Woodman, Ruislip – HA4 7SE
Victoria Williams & Zac Williams-Wolfe – Fletchers Arms – M34 6EG


Steven Alton, BII CEO commented: 
"Our Licensee of the Year Award is the most prestigious & hard-fought award, showing the excellence in our sector; our Semi-Finalists are of a fantastic standard.

“We are proud that the awards process this year, more than ever, is offering a value-added experience to all those involved with business insight and the chance to evaluate your business available at every stage. In addition to the mystery customer visits, facilitated once again by HGEM, we have this year been supported by useyourlocal who have been promoting our entrants to consumers across the whole of the UK. With Cask Marque auditing cellars in addition to the visits from our Head Judges, Amanda and Ashley, the competition this year will provide more value to contestants than ever before."
 
Following the judging visits, the finalists will be announced in mid-May.

All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on 18th June, where the overall winner of Licensee of the Year 2024 will be crowned.

To learn more about the LOYA Semi-Finalists, see
here.

If you would like tickets to the event of the summer to see the best operators in the UK being recognised and network with 900 industry friends and colleagues, you can view our Summer Event page here
 
The BII would like to thank everyone who has entered the competition this year. Keep your eyes peeled for another opportunity to enter in January 2025.

50 Hospitality Leaders take on a 230KM Cycle across North Devon's Rolling Hills in the Return of Pedalling 2 Pubs: UK Edition

After the incredible success of the debut Pedalling 2 Pubs ride in 2023,  the epic industry bike ride and sibling fundraiser to Pedalling for Pubs, is returning for another year, having raised over £25k so far for two vital industry charities; Only A Pavement Away and the Licensed Trade Charity. This year’s Pedalling 2 Pubs team will set off in just over a month, with 50 hospitality professionals cycling 230km across the rolling hills of North Devon from the 16th – 18th May 2024, all for a fantastic cause.

Pedalling 2 Pubs launched last year, with riders tackling the Yorkshire Wolds and raising an incredible £80k. 
 
This year’s UK ride follows the incredible effort of the Pedalling for Pubs team, which saw 30 riders from across the hospitality sector take on the mammoth 400km cycle across rugged terrain in Kenya, from Nairobi to the Masai 
Mara last month. 

Through the united effort of Pedalling for Pubs and Pedalling 2 Pubs, organisers have set the impressive target of raising over £350k for the two charities this year. Adding to an astounding £670k already raised in the first 2 years since the challenge was founded in 2022. 

Commenting on this year’s Pedalling 2 Pubs, Steve Alton, Lead Rider and CEO at the BII said “Alongside the fantastic and incredibly tough challenge recently undertaken in Kenya, organised and led by the inimitable Katy Moses, I am delighted to be leading the UK edition of this fantastic charity initiative. We have 50 fantastic fundraisers signed up to cycle over 230km across North Devon in May, with some tough climbing of over 3,300m which is higher than the 3 peaks combined! All of the riders are passionate about the life changing impact of the two critical sector charities that we are raising vital funds for, as well as being able to refuel and recover at some great British pubs along the way.”

Chris Welham, CEO of the Licensed Trade Charity added “It’s brilliant to be involved in this year’s Pedalling 2 Pubs ride. It’s an initiative that’s great at bringing the industry together and is so effective at raising vital funds and awareness for the Licensed Trade Charity, both of which are critical in enabling us to help even more people across our industry that need it most. Good luck to my fellow riders and thank you to all who have already donated.” 

Greg Mangham, Founder and CEO of Only A Pavement Away said “I’m beyond grateful for all those who are taking part in this year’s Pedalling 2 Pubs, and to those who have donated so far. Both these rides really are a testament to how our industry comes together year on year to help those who need it most. The funds Only A Pavement receives from this campaign enables us to reach more people facing homelessness and provide them with a pathway into a stable career in hospitality. It really does change lives, so thank you to all our riders, sponsors and supporters.”
  
To find out more about the challenge or to donate, please follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/pedalling2pubs2024

Pubs are facing increased pressures from Organised Crime Groups but Intelligence Sharing can be the solution

Pubs are facing an increase in organised crime activity but having a local pubwatch can help tackle this through intelligence sharing.

This was the view at the National Pubwatch Conference which took place in Sheffield earlier this month. 

Dan Davies, ceo of Rockpoint Leisure and current chairman of the Institute of licensing, which is spearheading the regeneration of New Brighton, near Liverpool, said that organised crime groups and gang activity is a problem faced by the licensed trade across the country. 

Davies told delegates that it is a “very complex subject.” 

“We have been 15-to-20 years behind some of the American gang culture. There has always been gangs in the UK but what we have seen across the last number of years is a rise in a more organised gang activity,” he said. 

“We have also seen a massive rise in knife crime and again this is not people carrying around a pen knife, these are often machetes and zombie knifes and things like this.”

He highlighted issues that have contributed to this rise including urban planning issues where businesses and high streets have ‘failed’ and been replaced with housing. 

“If you have a place where people just live, and they don’t work and don’t socialise there, they become displaced,” he added. 

“It can often bring friction and a spiral downwards. People just want jobs and opportunities. All of these things, as well as the economic climate, are the ‘Tinder box’ for more gang activity.” 

Davies said that part of the problem is that youths want a sense of direction and belonging, which see many join gangs. But he used this need to belong to make the young people part of the regeneration of New Brighton. 

“We have been charting the activities they have been doing over the last six years and you can really see if they are given opportunities and given the right investment in time and role models, they can take the right path,” he said. 

“They commit crimes but they don’t understand the knock-on effect that can have to themselves, to their families or to any victims and their families as well. This is something that is an important topic and it needs to be top of the agenda moving forward.  We need to work together and find the best practice.” 

Davies worked with Inspector Alan McKeon Merseyside police, who was a community inspector dealing with organised crime groups in the Wirral. 

“My view is that a good licensee is worth their weight in gold. We talk prevention.  There is nothing better than to have a licensee on board,” he said. 

He stressed that licensees need support to deal with these organised crime groups, some of whom want to drink in their pubs and licensed premises. 
Inspector Alan McKeon said that it is crucial for licensees and pubs to share intelligence so incidents can be avoided.  

He highlighted the murder of innocent victim beautician Elle Edwards who died after being shot in the cross-fire of an organised crime attack at a pub in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve in 2022. The organised crime group had decided to frequent the premises, which was not seen by the police as a pub with any issues. 

“I will keep saying it. If they were part of a scheme like Pubwatch that information would have been shared and would have got to us,” he added.  

For more information: Steve Baker on 07944030555 or [email protected]

Workforce Launching Today

The BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) has today launched its brand new, free-to-use membership platform, Workforce, promoting the incredible career opportunities available in pubs and providing practical support and inspiration for everyone working in the sector.

 

The charity and membership organisation which supports over 13,000 members, the majority of whom run independent pub businesses across the UK, has created Workforce to further support its members and the wider pub sector, by providing essential advice, information and guidance for their teams and showcasing inspiring career stories from across the pub sector and beyond.

 

It has never been more important to nurture and develop the home-grown talent that exists within the pub sector. From professional development, apprenticeships, and training information, to blogs and podcasts sharing the stories of those at the beginning of their careers through to industry leaders, Workforce will promote the welcoming and diverse nature of pubs and help attract and retain the home-grown talent needed to help keep pubs thriving in every community in the UK.

 

The BII has worked collaboratively with leading organisations and individual experts from across the sector to create Workforce, with the BIIAB, Sky Business & Licensed Trade Charity becoming Foundation Partners, supporting the platform as it continues to grow and develop in the coming months.

 

Other Workforce Partners have made their expertise and resources available to members across the platform, with HJUK, KAM, HIT Training, The Skills Network, Hospitality Rewards, Only a Pavement Away, Zonal, So Let’s Talk and Essential Cuisine all providing content and support.

 

Steven Alton, BII CEO commented:

 

“Workforce will be instrumental in creating a free to use community for team members from across the sector, enabling their growth and development in our fantastic industry.

“I am incredibly proud that we are able to launch this free-to-use platform, promoting the incredible career opportunities that exist for people from all walks of life in the pub sector, and supporting BII members as they recruit and nurture the next generation of amazing talent.”

 

The BII are inviting anyone working in the pub sector to join Workforce by signing up at biiworkforce.org today to get access to career guidance, podcasts and blogs featuring fantastic stories from across the industry, wellbeing advice and support, and discounted pub experiences with Perks. Future developments for members will include webinars with award-winning mentors, free training opportunities, competitions and more.
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