In providing a financial update for the year to September 2018, the operator of 13 brewpub venues and a further nine franchise sites, revealed that sales for the period hit £14,142,802 – representing 21% overall growth.
However, while the company’s gross margin hit 73%, Brewhouse & Kitchen made an operating loss of £532,219.
The brewpub operator’s statement explained that the year to September 2018 had been underpinned by preparations for a new phase of growth that it attributed as the primary reason for its operating loss.
These preparations included the expansion of its London-based head office team, the acquisition of new sites in a dynamic market and positioning the business to ensure it can recruit and develop candidates in a tough marketplace.
Moreover, the appointment of a new financial controller, management accountant, operations director, food operational support team, brand trainer and head of recruitment also added significantly to the company’s outgoings, according to its statement.
The company’s next phase of growth includes plans to open its first hotel and brewpub operation, with projects in place to open three more in the next 18 months.
Evolving and adapting
Discussing Brewhouse & Kitchen’s latest trading statement, CEO Kris Gumbrell explained: “It was only six years ago, in 2013, that we opened our first brewpub. In the period between 2015 and 2018, we opened a further 19 brewpubs, both within B&K and also for our franchise partners.
“This extraordinary period growth, meant our small HQ team was focused on, at times, an exhausting strategy of buy, build and open.
“Last year, the board felt it was time to step back, invest into our systems, consolidate and re-enforce the core team.
“We now have the largest and most established brewpub business with the UK market, craft beer is now built into the core UK pub offering to various degrees, so it is essential we maintain our competitive edge of leading the market for innovation, craft beer retail and a ‘best in class’ experience business.
“In 2018, we introduced two new products, a beer and food matching experience and gin masterclass. Both have been well received and, as a result, in the year to June 2019, the company has had over 15,000 guests participate in experiences – a growth of 19.4% year-on-year run rate.
“We have focused and invested in growing this part of our business and we continue to explore new ideas to develop this essential part of our offering.”
“During 2018, we won both the Best Pub Company and the Best Employer at the Publican Awards, alongside this, we went on to win Best Multisite Pub Operator at the annual Casual Dining Awards and were listed 19th on 2018 Sunday Times Fast Track 100.
“Today (Wednesday 26 June), it has been confirmed that Brewhouse & Kitchen has been listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s annual ‘1000 Companies that Inspire Britain’. Despite many challenges, the brand has evolved and adapted to maintain it’s place at the head of a market that sees the continued rise of craft beer.”