Since the sale of a large chunk of the business to Star Pubs and Bars in 2017, a slimline and agile Punch business emerged, led by a new management team, headed up by CEO Clive Chesser.
Since then the company has continued to go from strength to strength, forging strong relationships with its pub partners and looking to create new opportunities through innovation for themselves and their operators.
A recent change of ownership saw Patron Capital exit, and Fortress Investment Group step in, a move that was welcome by the Punch management team.
Judges were impressed with how Punch handled itself during the recent pandemic challenges, finding new ways to connect and talk with its pub operators, including creating a dedicated TV channel which saw hugely impressive levels of engagement with the estate.
Innovation was key throughout this business, which is looking at a number of ways to drive its estate forward, from new franchise models through to joint ventures with high performing operators.
Flexibility was key within the business and the willingness to mould and fit with the operators needs was also key.
Strong support and impressive investment into data has also been made available to ensure that operators are in the best possible position to trade and stand out in the competitive market.
There’s a strong sense that Punch is on a journey, one that might have been slightly derailed by the consequences of the pandemic, but this is a company that continues to evolve and change, and definitely one to watch as the trade moves forward.