Punch Taverns has stressed that the leased model does have a future despite a protest from licensees outside its HQ.
Punch facilities director Steve Allen met protesters and later director of customer services Nigel Turpin invited any Punch lessees in for a coffee and a chat.
Punch managing director Roger Whiteside and operations director Kevin Gerogel were also on hand to talk to the protesters.
The protesters had planned to hand in an open letter to Giles Thorley, which calls for an end to the beer and AWP tie, transparency in the rent review process and the removal of upward only rents but Punch refused to accept it. Enterprise had also refused to receive the letter earlier today.
"We continue to invest £1.6 million a month supporting licensees that have a genuine need for additional assistance during this challenging trading period and would urge the Government to do more to secure the future of the great British pub," said a Punch spokesman.
"We have robust communication channels in place to allow our licensees to raise issues with us if they need to and we do not condone this protest. However, we are inviting any Punch licensees who are protesting peacefully to join our regional operations directors for a coffee and a chat, so that they can air their concerns.
"We firmly believe that the leased model offers entrepreneurs a good low cost entry into the pub industry and we will continue to do everything we can to support our licensees.
"We would like to stress that Justice For Licensees has conducted all of its lobbying to date through the media and we have received no official communication of their concerns. As such, it is difficult for us to provide a more detailed comment on specific allegations until we have received their 'Open Letter'."