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2017 Predictions

2017 Predictions: Garrood says with change comes opportunity

By Nikkie Sutton , 19-Dec-2016

Challenges: Punch boss Garrood said 2017 will also bring opportunities for the trade
Challenges: Punch boss Garrood said 2017 will also bring opportunities for the trade

Punch CEO Duncan Garrood has said that following the pubs code and Brexit paving the way for change in 2016, next year will also bring change and opportunity.

He also said the pubco was looking into ways it could continue offering support to its publicans and staff during this period of flux.

Garrood said: “As we anticipate and prepare for the expected impact, we also know that with change often comes opportunity.

“Therefore, we don’t want these factors to project a negative wave and discourage those considering taking on a Punch pub in 2017.

“As we step into the new year we look at ways in which Punch can continue to support and reassure both our publicans and our staff .

“With the success of the workshops we held for our licensees throughout this year, these are set to continue next year as we offer more provision on a range of aspects, including the options available to tenants when their lease is up for renewal. 

Fast-paced, high-pressured industry

Garrood described the industry as comprising a “bed of talented, hardworking and creative individuals” and said that with those attributes, combined with the pubco’s support and training, licensees and their teams would be supported by Punch in 2017.

He also called the trade a “fast-paced, high-pressured industry” and said staff retention is often an ongoing struggle for operators.

He added: “To implement staff retention effectively, one tool is investing in their future career and improving their prospects.

“This will continue to be a priority for us in 2017 as we continue to encourage both our staff and publicans to take on vocational training, as well as running our successful apprenticeship programme to grow our business further to attract the best people.”

Garrood urged operators to consider offering more apprenticeship opportunities and regular training as it can ensure success.

The Punch boss also mentioned the pubco’s investment in its pubs over the past 12 months and said: “In addition, next year we foresee our pubs flourishing, thanks to investment into the pubs themselves, as well as the people running them.

Increased customer loyalty, happier employees and publicans

Garrood added: “From January to December [this year], Punch invested £45m in 425 pubs, across England, Scotland and Wales, including in its Core, Falcon and Mercury arms.

“This ensured our publicans gained as much support as possible and our customers recognise our pubs as a welcoming and enjoyable hospitality experience at the heart of their community.

“Furthermore, our transformation programme is set to remain as we plan to spend an additional £55m next year to improve even more Punch pubs.”

Garrood concluded with the importance of giving back and said Punch will be looking at ways it can offer more to communities and improve its corporate social responsibility programme.

He added: “We aim to encourage both our staff and publicans to pursue more community engagement, which in turn will see many benefits - including increased customer loyalty and happier employees and publicans.

“This is something Punch is passionate about and throughout 2017 we endeavour to incorporate this across our business.”

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