Paul Wigham — who operates All Our Bars, a chain of 36 pubs leased from different pubcos — told PubOpsClub delegates at a conference in Hitchin, Hertfordshire last week: “You need to find a way to deal with multiple operators, and to bring specialist knowledge and skills to the relationship.”
He suggested BDMs should develop specialisms for food sites, late-night venues, pubs with accommodation, wet-led outlets, and town-centre bars.
“They should operate more like the managed estates, which organise their area managers by brand or concept.”
Wigham urged BDMs to “understand how we work and adapt to it, so you can make the best use of our time and skills”.
He added: “Treat us as customers, not sites. Understand what we do with your competitors. And visit our pubs and give us feedback.”
He also criticised pubcos’ information management. “The pub industry is backwards in terms of customer relationship management. It’s down to poor data maintenance — you have the info, and should use it better.”
Meanwhile, Wigham said he often receives wrongly addressed communications, including one sent to ‘Dear Mr Red Lion Limited’.
The PubOpsClub is a new networking, learning and development event for pub operations managers.