Punch plans to expand Mighty Local model

By Mark Wingett, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Punch is also looking to further roll out Champs, its four-strong highstreet sports bar concept
Punch is also looking to further roll out Champs, its four-strong highstreet sports bar concept

Related tags: Bar, Public house, Punch taverns

Punch Taverns believes there is potential to convert “hundreds” of its sites — both across its core and turnaround estate — to its fledgling wet-led community local model, Mighty Local, subject to clarity on the market rent only option (MRO), the Publican's Morning Advertiser's sister title M&C Report understands.

The group has so far converted 12 sites to the concept, which goes under the banner “a great place to be”, and has plans in place to at least double that figure by the end of its financial year. It has invested on average c£250k into each conversion.

It is also looking at opportunities to further roll out Champs, its four-strong highstreet sports bar concept, and it is trialling a coffee offer called Brewed & Baked.

Operations director David Wigham told M&C Report that Mighty Local was “performing really well”, especially at sites with a pure wet-led offer.

He said: “We are not a managed operator but we are seeking to become more involved in the running of some sites. We believe there is potential across our c4,000 pubs to operate hundreds under the format, but the level of the investment will depend on the eventual clarity on MRO. At present there are around 30 sites in the pipeline to be converted to Mighty Locals.”

Last November, Punch Taverns executive chairman Stephen Billingham said the company had abandoned its target of food sales making up 35% of tenants’ revenue.

Billingham said there was now “less focus” on food with the company looking more towards expanding the Mighty Local format, which provides tenants with an operating template and help with setting up the venture. Tenants are given a “rhythm of the week”, which details initiatives, such as entertainment, and themes to focus on for that week.

Related topics: Punch Pubs & Co

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