Time for a fresh industry attitude

By Ashley McCarthy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ye old sun Landlord Bii licensee

McCarthy: "We are in a position where we can move the industry forward"
McCarthy: "We are in a position where we can move the industry forward"
A New Year, same old story? Come on — let’s blow the cobwebs away and make 2014 a year to remember for our industry, argues BII Licensee of the Year Ashley McCarthy.

I’m sick of hearing the doom and gloom that surrounds us daily. Are we the only industry struggling? Why should so many issues be put at our door, so that we get the blame and are told to carry the can for everyone else’s mistakes and pick up the tab at the end of it?

Of the many pubs we’ve lost over the past few years, many should have gone years earlier, due to offering substandard service and hospitality and doing our industry a major injustice in their attempt to make a ‘quick buck’.

But many great landlords and ladies who have worked in the trade all their lives have also fallen by the wayside through no fault of their own, except for maybe trusting the wrong DPS and pubco.

Our industry misses them for their wealth of experience and and their judgment.

Stand tall

So this year, why don’t we aim to stand together as an industry and tackle issues affecting the whole country? We’re not going to stop supermarkets selling cheap booze. We’re not going to see the end of VAT on alcohol.

Councils will still debate late-night levies and the like, but if we stand tall
and work collectively we sure can make life very difficult for those who put into play these rules that jeopardise our businesses.

Why not start with a resolution to put effort into the trade we all work so hard for? It’s not a matter of taking hours away from your business, but putting your name forward with online petitions, involving yourself with trade publications, meeting with local publicans at trade meetings (you don’t have to be a member, just to go and test the water), and speaking to the publican down the road about shared issues.


Let’s get back to old-fashioned values that gave our industry the strength to exist for centuries and remain such a big player in the nation’s economy. We need to encourage the next generation of publicans, solving this skills shortage and second-class employment reputation.

Dictatorship isn’t for me, but we can really make a difference if we have a focused voice and help those trying their very best to steer the industry away from those that see us only as a cash cow or a way to pass the buck.

We are in a position where we can move the industry forward, looking at lessons learnt by our role models and work with what we have available in this age of modern technology, building on our trade’s potential to be dynamic and inspirational as well as challenging.

Ashley McCarthy is landlord of Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, North Yorkshire

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