Bass to roll out local brands

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Related tags: Public house, Inn, Tavern

Bass expects to start rolling out two new pub brands in the community local sector within six months.The Arena concept features sports and...

Bass expects to start rolling out two new pub brands in the community local sector within six months.

The Arena concept features sports and entertainment, such as live TV football matches and karaoke.

Horizon is being used for community pubs which are suitable for selling food, with a menu featuring meals available in three different sizes.

Both formats keep the pubs' original names as with other brands such as Ember Inns, which is aimed at the more upmarket community market.

They have been under trial in a small number of pubs in the Midlands and Hertfordshire before a firm decision is made.

But Bass chief executive Tim Clarke said: "Both are showing extremely encouraging results. They are moving very well indeed."

He said he expected the formats to be ready to be introduced to more of Bass' 1,000 unbranded pubs within six months.

"We do try to get these formats absolutely right before we go into the major roll-out investment that we have had with other brands," he said.

About 44 per cent of Bass Leisure Retail's estate is currently branded, including O'Neill's, Vintage Inns, All Bar One and Browns.

Mr Clarke added that it had two more brands that were at a very early research and development stage.

After selling 988 smaller unbranded managed houses to Nomura Principal Finance Group, Bass is pressing ahead with converting many of its other sites.

Mr Clarke said only "a relatively small number" of its 2,050 pubs will eventually remain without some form of branding.

Bass is also developing a new brand of Mediterranean restaurants specialising in pizzas, although its identity has not been announced.

The first is due to open in Guildford, Surrey, in the autumn, while another two sites have been lined up in the South-East.

It will be competing in an increasingly competitive market against the likes of PizzaExpress and Ask Central. Scottish & Newcastle has decided to exit by selling its De:alto Mediterranean restaurants, although Whitbread is developing its Bella Pasta chain under the name of Bella.

Related topics: Other operators

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