BrewDog boss wants Gov to install hospitality representative

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

London calling: James Brown (left) and BrewDog’s pub at Waterloo
London calling: James Brown (left) and BrewDog’s pub at Waterloo

Related tags Brewdog Craft beer Finance Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Property Social responsibility Government

The Government needs to appoint a representative who recognises the huge contribution hospitality makes to the UK economy, according to BrewDog Bars chief executive James Brown.

The boss of the Ellon-based brewer and pub operator added such a high-profile installation must also examine and overhaul the business rates system alongside dealing with VAT issues that have affected every business.

Brown explained: “First and foremost, I’d like the Government to respect the industry enough to put proper infrastructure in place within the Government itself to understand us.”

He added UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls does a great job of representing the sector and that involves lobbying for people to understand what the problems of the on-trade are.

Future economic growth

“This is a huge sector that employs a lot of people and contributes a lot to the economy – it’s so important for future economic growth,” Brown continued.

“We deliver the smiles and the warm welcome of hospitality to visitors coming from America and China, etc. Tourism is going to be such a huge part of what our country offers going forward.

“I’d hope [a Government representative] would look at, and really understand, the economic benefits of this industry when it’s thriving, therefore, looking at business rates in a lot of detail [because] it’s just not done right at the moment and I think everyone is aware of that.”


He added VAT also needs to be reviewed “to help this industry thrive because it’s proven [this sector] will return that investment”.

“We’ve got some great entrepreneurs, great operators in the sector, who will take that investment, or rather a VAT tax reduction, and put it to work to employ more people and get people trained up and develop their careers. To me, it’s a no-brainer.”

With businesses just looking for a “fair crack of the whip”, Brown said pubs are struggling to get energy deals or have been forced to pay in advance are things other industries just don’t have to contend with.

He said: “Having someone in Government, based on the size of this industry, could quickly troubleshoot that kind of stuff and I think the crazy thing is energy companies want a solution to it as well. Nobody likes things that are difficult and it doesn’t help either side of the business.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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