That is one of the findings of exclusive research revealed at M&C Report’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit yesterday.
CGA Strategy’s Tenanted Pub Licensee survey polled around 500 tenants and found that three-quarters (74%) would sign up with their pubco again, a slight (3%) improvement on last year.
The sample of licensees represented an even split between national and regional pubcos. CGA also found 75% of licensees expressed satisfaction with their pubco — 38% were “satisfied”; 19% “quite satisfied” and 18% “very satisfied”.
Although the results show that tenants are generally happy with their pubco, the majority of outlets, 56%, said that support has not increased from their pubco.
Satisfaction scores for business development managers (BDMs) dropped slightly and the heights of 2010 are still yet to be reached, the report explained. The average satisfaction score out of 10 in 2013 was 6.6. In 2010, it was 6.9.
Two out of five respondents said that their income has increased, compared with one in three last year and one in four in 2011. More than seven out of 10 (71%) said they are seeing food turnover rise, which compares to 59% last year.
The data comes as the Government’s consultation on a proposed statutory code closed last Friday. It said regulation would apply to companies with 500 sites or more.
The study found that the majority of licensees believe that there should be a statutory code — 71% said that all pubcos should be subject to such regulation, and 23% said that it should be only for the largest companies.
When asked why, 85% of those surveyed think that self-regulation has failed, and 66% believe that Government regulation will contribute to an increase in profitability.
In terms of net pub closures, 52% of licensees think that a statutory code will help lead to a reduction.
CGA account director Graeme Loudon said: “Although the licensee-pubco relationship can still be fraught, improvements are starting to come through, with three-quarters of licensees at least satisfied with the relationship with their pubco.
“A similar number (74%) say that they would sign up with their pubco again, an increase of 11 percentage points on 2010.
“This is despite the fact that more than half of respondents have not received any additional support from their pubco over the past year — of course, no additional support would be irrelevant if they are happy with existing levels of support.
“For the first time this year, CGA asked licensees their view on the need for a statutory code of conduct between pubcos and licensees. There was a consensus that some sort of statutory code is needed.”