Gerry Price blog: rent review shockers

By Gerry Price

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Related tags Rent review Area manager Public house

Price: rent reviews are a pain
Price: rent reviews are a pain
Gerry Price, Enterprise leaseholder, The Inn, West End, Surrey harks back to a rent review from his past. Sweet memories! I had a rent review in 1995...

Gerry Price, Enterprise leaseholder, The Inn, West End, Surrey harks back to a rent review from his past.

Sweet memories!

I had a rent review in 1995 at The Brickmakers Arms in Windlesham. I had invested a lot in the pub and was trading reasonably well but, surprise surprise, the company wanted to nearly double my rent, despite having done virtually nothing to the property.

I remember having a heated discussion with the Area Manager and trying to put him in my position so as he could see how unfair it was. After a stressful six months we managed to agree a rent which they thought was fair and on we went.

I can't remember the company name because although I had started off with Courage and then become Grand Met and then become Inntrepreneur, I can't remember the details of the timing. I am lucky, I have a good memory for happy events and my mind blocks out unpleasant ones! Strangely, I can picture the Area Manager and remember his name and even a certain amount of his career path, and I am sorry to say I do not like him.

Move on thirteen years to 2008 and at another ex Courage pub, The Inn @ West End, I am still making a living not commensurate with the hours, effort and investment that I and my wife put in.

For reasons that I have explained before, namely that I enjoy the trade and am not sure what else I could do, we are still serving customers and enjoying the crack but do not feel at all well rewarded for years of being very good at what we do.

My problem I know, but I am just setting the scene. So, my Area Manager makes one of his thankfully rare calls to me and asks if he can bring his boss down to see The Inn.

Bear in mind we had just invested a serious lump of money that we had borrowed to make The Inn a better place for our customers and hopefully for us to make a better living.

Aside from the fact that one can't say no, I had no problem with them visiting and it may even be a good time for a bit of information gathering on my part, so we arrange a time.

At the arranged time they duly arrive and I am introduced to my man's boss. Well knock me down with a feather, but isn't the Property Director the self same bloke who was my Area Manager at The Brickies fourteen years ago?

And isn't he condescendingly complimentary about the results of our huge investment? I don't think he remembers me, but I could be wrong, and we do our polite bits and off they go.

It gets my mind all stirred up and rekindles the animosity of the post Beer Orders years and doesn't really do me a lot of good mentally. I mention all this because some weeks ago I tried to work out why I don't really like the pubcos, big drinks companies, big power companies, big companies generally.

I realise that one of the reasons is that the Courage's of this world mutated into Grand Met., Inntrepreneur, Enterprise and Punch and although they are different, they are pretty much still the same. All still trying to screw you for every penny they can because, they can!

They have the power of size behind them which means big legal departments, the best properties the most persuasive sales guys etc. I just don't believe any of them are interested in 'fair partnerships'. My negative feelings are visceral, not rational, after years in the trade.

So, why mention this now you ask? Fair question. Well, I have just been invited to a BII Rent Review seminar nearby and intend to attend. As you know it is that time when such matters are dear to my heart.

Reading through the literature for the event and who is it sponsored by? Enterprise Inns, bless 'em. Who is speaking on that day about the fair, transparent process that is the Enterprise way? None other than the Area Manager/Area Director who used to work for Courage's and now works for Enterprise and I can't stand! Well ****** me, doesn't that just rake up happy memories.

As my friend Paul would say, Huck my Grundles!

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