Iona lines up franchise deal

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Franchising

Iona Pub Partnership, the tenanted arm of Scottish leisure operator G1 Group, is putting together a franchise model for part of its estate in a bid to “be more creative” in the way it operates its sites.

Iona Pub Partnership director Lesley Welsh told M&C Report​ the franchise model could be in place in the “top end” of the estate by the end of the year.

She said: “We’ve got the basis of the model — it will almost be like a tenancy in another guise, but the deal would be structured differently to a regular tenancy model.

"We feel we need to look at being more creative in relation to this part of the industry — it’s not a one-size-fits-all tenancy model and the franchise opportunity might attract better-quality candidates to the estate.”

Food background

Only about 5% of Iona’s pubs would come under the franchise model to start with, “as a trial bed”, possibly rising to 15% to 20% of the estate eventually.

Welsh said the company, which has more than 100 pubs, would particularly like to find franchisees who have a strong food background as Iona’s “top-quartile sites all have a large food side to their business”.

She hopes the model will be ready to implement by the end of the summer, at which point the company will start talking to potential franchisees.

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