‘Control of costs and margins are key’

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: English-language films, Cost, Costs

Clayton: Trade is addicted to turnover figures
Clayton: Trade is addicted to turnover figures
Will Clayton, the entrepreneur behind Gresham Inns and Leicester Square wine bar, the Cork & Bottle, claims that many businesses are spending a disproportionate amount of time looking to increase sales, when they are running a business where costs and margins are out of control.

Clayton, who returned to the UK after making a success of numerous licensed businesses in Australia, has been actively looking for new sites, for both his Gresham Inns business and to fuel the rollout of his wine bar chain. During this search, he said he had been shocked by some of the businesses he has looked at.

“So many of the businesses we have looked at recently have been crippled by cost control, rather than turnover,” he said. “As a trade, it would appear that we are addicted to turnover figures and year-on-year growth.

"I’d take numerous smaller businesses with great profit figures any day. That or flat turnover, but improved profit line. The situation reminds me of the phrase: ‘turnover is for vanity, profit is for sanity’ — has that ever been more relevant than in today’s market?”

He said areas licensees are failing to keep control over include insurance, cleaners and refuse collections.

Related topics: Other operators

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