FLVA president: good relationship with BDM is vital

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Results from a recent tenant track survey found 83% of tenants believe their BDM understands their business
Results from a recent tenant track survey found 83% of tenants believe their BDM understands their business

Related tags: Pub companies, License, West yorkshire, Public house, Bdm

Licensees must strive to forge closer relationships with their business development managers (BDMs) and pub companies, according to Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association (FLVA) president Michelle Dwan.

Dwan, who runs the Victoria Hotel in Allerton Bywater and the Magnet in Castleford, West Yorkshire, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ (PMA​) the trade needed to reach a “place of trust”.

She said: “The big thing is getting back to knowing that person [in the pub]. I believe pub companies are changing and that’s a step in the right direction,” she said.

“Previously in the trade, you weren’t playing poker with each other. If you were having a bad week or a bad month, you could sort something out with your BDM. I don’t mean this against any particular pub company, but now there’s no such thing as ‘we know that licensee, they’ve been at that pub for a long time’.”

Results from the recent Tenant Track survey, conducted by the PMA​’s sister brand MCA​, found that BDMs are generally well-respected by licensees, with 83% believing their BDM understands their business. The same percentage rated their BDM as ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ useful.

Read: Tenants' satisfaction with pubcos improve again 

Dwan, who has been in the pub trade for more than 25 years, also highlighted the benefits of the tied tenanted model ahead of the introduction of the statutory pubs code in May.

“I totally agree with the tied model and one of my sites, the Magnet, is a perfect example. Enterprise is my landlord and they came in and did a £150,000 refurb. Without it the pub would have died. I’m happy, they’re happy and business has gone on. If I was just on a rent-only agreement, I wouldn’t have the money and where do you go? The banks won’t lend.”

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