Publican Awards 2022

Meet the finalists – Best Managed Pub Company (2-50 sites) sponsored by Molson Coors

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Publican Awards 2022 finalists in Best Managed 2 to 50

Related tags: Events, Publican awards, Managed pubs, Multi-site pub operators

This year’s Best Managed Pub Company (2 to 50 sites) champion will have a highly successful managed retail estate, which has shown strong innovation and business performance in the past year.

Inn Collection Group

The Inn Collection Group hit over 30 sites at the beginning of this year and the Northumberland-based pub and hotel operator was also sold by its backers Alchemy for £300m.

But it was “business as usual” after it was acquired by a new company backed by The Harris Family Trusts together with Kings Park Capital​. 

It recently secured an additional £42m funding from OakNorth Bank​ to revamp about half of its sites and develop its property portfolio.

It focuses on the mantra of “Eat, Drink, Sleep, Experience” which allows it to target sites in a variety of locations including the coastal, town and leisure locations.

The group focuses on purchasing sites off-market and often targets the acquisition of independent owner operator venues. It has also started expanding out of its north east heartland with new sites in the Lake District and North Wales.

Its rapid expansion of sites has also been accompanied by the expansion of its senior executive team.

Hippo Inns

Hippo Inns was founded by Rupert Clevely in 2015 and was a joint venture partnership with EI, as part of its Enterprise Managed Expert business.  The company focuses on food-led craft beer pubs at the heart of communities in London.

Hippo Inns boasts some iconic London pubs in its 12-strong portfolio including its flagship Duke of Sussex at Waterloo and the Blue Anchor at Hammersmith.

In January 2022, Stonegate purchased the remaining 25% share capital​ in Hippo Inns for an undisclosed sum. Clevely is set to stay on in a consultancy role.

Over the last year Hippo Inns relaunched its in-house newspaper for customers which keeps them updated on the latest news. The company, which is known for its high-quality food,  responded to the latest trends with the pandemic adjusting its menu to changing consumer habits that are more health conscious and environmentally aware.

In order to give something back to customers on reopening it launched its ‘Cluck and Moo’ where it doubles up a patty and adds four hot wings to a burger order on a Wednesday.

Arc Inspirations

From its conception more than two decades ago, Arc Inspirations has three brands, spanning 18 venues.

Its Manahatta brand has a New York vibe in a glamourous cocktail space with sites in Leeds, Harrogate, York and Manchester.

Also in Leeds and Manchester is Arc’s Box brand – a quality sports bar with a strong food, drink play and party offer.

Its third brand – Banyan – serves great cocktails, favourite dishes and memorable experiences.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the group opened a Manahatta in Birmingham and a Box bar in Deansgate, Manchester.

Furthermore, the firm has secured two new sites in key target cities, which it expects to open later this year​.

The multiple operator has also secured a £14m refinancing packaging, including a separate £5m facility to help the group expand site numbers.

In addition, Arc reported its results for the financial year to 31 March 2021, showing a 42% increase in sales​ from July to November this year, against 2019 figures.

Urban Pubs & Bars

Co-founders Nick Pring and Malcolm Heap founded Urban Pubs & Bars in 2014 and has expanded its London-based estate.

With an ethos that focuses on acquiring the best sites in the right locations and recruiting exceptional operators, Urban ensures it establishes the right offer and invests in the right areas.

The company’s portfolio is diverse with each site having its own individual style and concept including traditional pub venues, high-end restaurants and gastropubs to competitive socialising sites.

Teams have a pivotal role with entrepreneurial spirit encouraged in creating an eclectic mix of unique establishments with a friendly atmosphere, great food and service at the heart of what it does.

The business entered into a partnership with Davidson Kempner and Global Mutual to expand the business​ in September last year before it acquired 13 Barworks sites​ towards the end of 2021.

Growth has been a focus for the company over the past 12 months and it appears further expansion is on the horizon for these seasoned operators.

  • Check out the full list of finalists at the 2022 Publican Awards here​​​.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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