Statutory code: majority of licensees tied to major pubcos want guest beer option

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub companies Beer

Statutory code, guest beer option, FSB
Licensees tied to the major pubcos should be able to stock a guest beer, a new survey of licensees by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.

The poll, which surveyed 167 FSB publican members, comes on the day that the Government consultation on regulation for big pub companies closes (Friday 14 June).

The results show clearly that publicans want a fairer deal from companies that rent out pubs so they can respond to customer demand (87%) and compete effectively with non-tied pubs in their areas (98%).

FSB research shows that almost 90 per cent believe they are forced to pay significantly more for beer than they would pay if they bought it on the open market.

The majority of respondents said that being free of the tie would mean they could stock local beers (94%) which would help support smaller breweries, and many would stock beer from a variety of brewers (97%).  

Almost six in 10 (57%) respondents that are tied to the pubco for beer are tied for amusement machines. And, while the tenants are forced to pay more money to the pub company for these products, only one in five tied pubs saw any investment from the pubco they rent from, with 68 per cent saying they had invested their own money in the last 12 months.  

The Government must act to:
•    Allow tied publicans to sell a guest beer
•    Prohibit any products other than drinks to be tied
•    Give the publican the right to request an open market rent review
•    Allow tied publicans to go free of tie by paying market rent only for the pub
John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s time for more choice in our pubs and a fairer deal for publicans and that’s what the FSB wants to see. Giving drinkers more reason to head to their local pub and more freedom to those who pull the pints. Self regulation clearly hasn’t worked, and our members are paying inflated prices to the large pub companies to make up for the mistakes they made in the property boom while at the same time are not being given a choice of what they can stock.

“Because tied tenants are forced to buy products through the company they are tied to, they rely entirely on the pub company to respond effectively to changing demand.

"Our tied publican members want to move with the times by having more local products on tap. So, by allowing tenants of the large pubcos to go ‘free of the tie’ it would help support local economies and challenge pub companies to offer a fair deal to publicans.”

Related topics Beer Legislation

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