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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 2nd Dec 2013 - Breaking News - Pring and Heap launch Urban Pubs and Bars
Pring and Heap launch Urban Pubs and Bars: Nick Pring and Malcolm Heap, who founded and sold Realpubs to Greene King for £53.1m in 2011, have launched a new company, Urban Pubs and Bars. Urban plans to build a 20-strong London estate over the next three to four years by targeting urban areas within the capital that have pent-up consumer demand for a premium local with an appealing food offer. Pring told Propel: “Urban will be an evolution of Realpubs. Many parts of that successful formula will be retained and evolved, but, in addition to this, Urban plans to develop casual dining offers within certain pubs that may, in time, be spun off into dining offers in their own right. We’d like to grow to 15 sites within three years.” With an ambitious roll-out plan, Urban is planning to attract and retain key personnel through a company share option scheme whereby they share financially in the overall success of the company. Heap told Propel: “It is a hugely exciting time for an acquisitive company in the London market as customers, outside the more tried and tested postcodes, embrace a more diverse range of food offerings. We want our managers to be at the heart of developing our brand and share financially in the company’s success. We believe that by doing this we will attract the best pool of talent that London has to offer. The biggest hurdle to achieving our expansion targets will be recruiting the right quality of manager so we are already actively searching for managers for the first sites.” Picking the right site in terms of location and demographics will be key to site selection rather than whether it is a freehold, free-of- tie or tied lease, Heap said. Propel understands the company is currently looking at five sites, a mixture of assignments and pubco leases, with a view to opening the first in March or April 2014. A website has been launched to collect CVs, The website states: “Urban has an aggressive growth strategy to acquire and operate some of the best sites in London with some new spins on some old formats that keep its people and service delivery at the heart of the operation. Urban is currently looking to recruit an operations manager, general managers and chefs to deliver the ambitious growth strategy in key locations within the capital. Anybody who knew Realpubs will know that those involved had a real sense of ownership, a lot of autonomy and a real input in helping to shape the strategy of a young, rapidly expanding company.”

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