Some 40 new jobs – including full and part time – will be created following the sale of the pubs to Barons.
The Jovial Sailor, Ripley, Surrey, which will be Barons Pub Company’s first venture into accommodation, and the Inn at West End, Woking, Surrey, will be renovated to improve their offerings.
Investments in the sites will include new furniture, decorations and lighting as well as new kitchen equipment.
Managing director Clive Price told The Morning Advertiser: “We’ve had a rapid period of growth last year where we bought the two sites and a café and that brings us up to 10 sites and we’re looking for nice and steady progression rather than crazy expansion.”
Growth has been organic until this point, he added, and the company was trying to find good sites with freehold being favourable, but leasehold would not be ruled out.
“Our medium target is 15 sites in total and to add another five sites or so will take us between five and 10 years,” he said.
Price’s strategy would be to focus on the best-quality sites available, saying “you don’t want to be lumbered with something that’s not good enough”.
He continued: “When those opportunities come up, it’s our job to take advantage of that, and still pubs are closing and that quality of what you’ve got is really important.”
It was likely Barons Pub Company would be able to take advantage of sites where operators, particularly large managed premises, had struggled to make a decent return due to increased costs including wages, business rates and food price hikes.
Difficult for big managed houses
“It becomes difficult for those big managed houses as wages go up and up and rates shoot up and food costs and margins squeezed,” added Price.
To negate such stresses on his business, Price and his team were working hard to control all of the costs in their power, including working with suppliers, such as Brakes, to remain competitive.
HSBC’s UK director for business banking in Surrey and Sussex Andrew Steer said: “We are committed to supporting British businesses, helping them to realise their ambitions.
“Since its inception in 2000, Barons has steadily developed its portfolio of British pubs and we were happy to assist the business this time around as they looked to scale up further.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the business and wish them the best for the future.”