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Tue 22nd Jan 2013 - Breaking News - Spirit unveils major changes
Spirit unveils major changes to become UK’s number one hospitality company; scraps Original Pub Company brand; Local pubs to report into head of leased Chris Welham: Managed operator Spirit Pub Company has unveiled major changes today as it sets its sights on becoming the “The Number One Hospitality Company in the UK”. The company is to scrap its Original Pub Company brand, thought to have grown to around 35 sites, in order to strengthen others. Chief executive Mike Tye told staff: “We have made a lot of progress in the last couple of years and I am very proud of our achievements. However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that our competitors have also improved in many areas and, as we have become more successful and better known, the expectations of all three of our stakeholders – team, guest and investor have also risen. Because of the nature of our brands and the diversity of the market we are operating in we have recognised that we compete in a far broader market than “pubs” alone. As a result, we are “raising the bar” of our ambition so that rather than focusing on the pub market alone, we want Spirit to become “The Number One Hospitality company in the UK”. We know times are tough at present; and, as a result, some people may be lacking the energy and excitement right now that I want to see and feel in the business. But I don’t feel this way. I’m actually looking forward to what lies ahead. I see today as an opportunity - a “new beginning”. This is the kind of future we aim to create - a business where: The best people want to work for Spirit because they can fulfil their dreams; people are listened to for great new ideas; everyone is enabled to deliver their maximum contribution; there is freedom, within a framework, to ensure every guest leaves with a smile on their face – everywhere and every time; guests are clamouring to get a table / licensees are clamouring for one of our pubs – because what we deliver is always so good; there is always something exciting going on, both in our pubs and in the support centre; we are growing faster than anyone else and our investors are delighted by our performance; we are all proud to be part of Spirit. We have taken a long hard look at the way we are currently operating and identified four areas for improvement: compelling brands and pubs; consistent operational execution; the skills and talent of our teams; and the quality of Spirit’s leadership. We have reviewed our brands and their position in the market and we have made the decision to lose our Original Pub Company (OPC) brand in order to strengthen others. OPC is the brand with the least guest awareness and the most variety in pub size, format and location. OPC shares many common features with John Barras and the neighbourhood estate so the decision has been to combine these two brands into one, within a new sector called Local Pubs.” Spirit is to move from five sectors to four: Metropolitan (to include Taylor Walker and Premium Pubs) will be overseen by David Crabtree; Fayre & Square and Flaming Grill will be looked after by Nick Young; Kate Wilton will oversee Chef & Brewer and Jackie Cupper will be in charge of Local Pubs (to include John Barras and Neighbourhood). Whilst the Local Pubs sector will still be operated as managed pubs, Jackie Cupper will report to Chris Welham in the leased division. Tye added: “The change in reporting line will enable us to optimise our asset base as pubs within the Locals sector share many similarities to pubs within our Leased estate. Some areas are being realigned to accommodate sites and BDM geography but the majority of pubs will maintain their current line manager relationship – there is no planned reduction in BDM numbers. We need to ensure that our team structures are such that we identify and utilise the talent in the organisation – in other words everyone is enabled to deliver their maximum contribution. With this in mind, we have reviewed our overall structure and cost base to ensure we are as efficient and effective as possible, whilst this refinement provides some overhead cost savings it also supports our desire to retain a flatter structure with broader accountabilities. We will be making changes which will take place by the end of February at the latest though some will happen sooner.” Spirit is consulting over a number of redundacies. 

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