Star to double Scottish managed portfolio

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Just Add Talent: Star Pubs & Bars to double the amount of its managed pubs in Scotland (Credit: Getty/ monkeybusinessimages)
Just Add Talent: Star Pubs & Bars to double the amount of its managed pubs in Scotland (Credit: Getty/ monkeybusinessimages)

Related tags: Scotland, Star pubs & bars, Managed pubs

Large pub operator Star Pubs & Bars has announced plans to double the amount of its managed operator pubs in Scotland during 2022 as part of it Just Add Talent (JAT) estate.

The operator currently has six JAT pubs in Scotland and, subject to recruiting new operators, Star plans to create a further seven managed operator pubs during 2022.

Star Pubs & Bars operations director for Scotland Matthew Dyson said: “Getting your first pub in Scotland is challenging.

“There is a significantly lower proportion of leased and tenanted tied pubs than in the rest of the UK.

“Furthermore, almost two thirds of pubs are independently owned. Where these are rented out, they usually come with no support and, if they’re being sold, the high price puts them out of reach of most people.

"The growth of the managed operator agreement offers an opportunity for people in Scotland looking to run their own pub business at a fraction of the cost of other options.”

Low risk

Operating a JAT pub works to a low risk, low-cost turnover, and profit share model with the ingoing cost £4,000 compared to at least £10,000 for a leased and tenanted pub or even more to purchase a free house, according to Star.

Under the JAT agreement, operators run the business but only fund their staff’s costs while Star Pubs & Bars pay for other expenses including utilities, rates, food, drinks, and repairs.

The revenue and profit are then shared between both parties with no limit on operators’ earnings, making the agreement ideal for assistant managers and managers already in hospitality, as well as those outside the sector with business or retail experience.

Additionally, new JAT sites will be provided with high spec audio-visual equipment and state-of-the-art dispense equipment.

The Horse & Barge at Clydebank and the Keg at Inverness are set to be the first two pubs to move to the JAT model in 2022 with the former scheduled to convert in March and the latter scheduled for later in the spring.

Debbie Little, who took over JAT pub the Welcome Inn, in Letham, Perth, in September 2019, said: “After 20 years managing pubs around Scotland for other people, I was desperate for a pub of my own but, with a young family to support, I wasn’t in a position to put all my savings into a pub.

Invaluable training 

“JAT was the perfect way for me to get my own pub business without laying out a lot of money, I knew The Welcome Inn and the area and felt the JAT offer was right for both.

“Having a blueprint to work to was reassuring and enabled me to focus on building trade and my team.

“The training and personal development I’ve received along the way have been invaluable.

“I’ve now got the skills, grounding, and assurance to move to a leased & tenanted pub in the future, I don’t think many people are aware of how easy it is to take a pub on a managed operator agreement.

“They’re a great way to get on the ladder for those who can’t afford to go it alone or don’t have the confidence to do so.”

Related topics: Star Pubs & Bars

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