Jodie Kidd: owning a pub is rewarding but a ‘steep learning curve’

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags West sussex Government Beer Finance

The Morning Advertiser caught up with pub operator, former racing driver, model and TV personality, Jodie Kidd, to talk about her time in the industry and the ongoing challenges faced by the sector.

A Grade II listed site dating back to the 15th​ century, Kidd restored and reopened the Half Moon in Kirdford, West Sussex, along with her business partners in 2017.

Since then, the pub has been awarded 2 AA rosettes and featured at various events including Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park​ from 2019-2022.

Very lucky 

The Half Moon has also previously featured on the Top 50 Gastropubs list.

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Kidd added she had been “very lucky” with her team, especially when reopening the pub and navigating the “quagmire” of how to keep its doors open.

However, she noted many communities looking to save their local don’t have that support, making it difficult to “survive”, adding she has seen pubs face “one crisis after another” over her seven years in the industry.  

She continued: “You need a good team around you, which I have been blessed to have.

“If we can survive Brexit, the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis ​and are still keeping our doors, I think we are going to be okay.”

Major changes 

In addition to taking a hands-on approach to her role at the pub, the operator has been an avid campaigner ​for beer duty since joining the industry and has previously shown support for the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Long Live the Local Campaign.

Kidd said: “I have been campaigning for years about lowering beer tax because we have one of the highest beer taxes in the whole of Europe​, seven times higher than some other countries.

“It’s just a constant battle and there is going to have to be some major changes if we are going to lose the very scary statistic of 50 pubs a month closing their doors​.”


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