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Wed 14th Jan 2015 - PoundPub to be franchised after success of first three sites
PoundPub to be franchised after success of first three sites: The PoundPub concept, which sells pints for £1.50 and half pints for £1, is to be offered as a franchise from Easter by owner Here For You Hospitality after its success at the first three venues to trial it. The first conversion to PoundPub, a site in Atherton, Greater Manchester has quadrupled volumes in its first full year with the other two sites showing similar trading gains. A fourth venue under the fascia is due to open in Wavertree, Liverpool next Tuesday (20 January). Managing director Mike Wardell told Propel: “The pubs converted to the PoundPub format were located in ex-industrial, working class towns where competition is still pretty tough because there are still a lot of pubs. They were just ticking along, making trading loses in some cases. It was a case of doing something drastic or closing. We changed the signage and made sure they were clean and tidy and serving good products. 85% of sales are now draught beer. It’s a question of whether you want your bar staff selling five pints an hour or 55 pints an hour, as one of the sites averaged during December.” Wardell said the next opening in Liverpool has already created a social media stir with 5,000 Facebook likes. “I think we’ll do exceptionally well – it’s a heavily populated area.” The company is currently working on a basic food offer to add to the drinks offer. “There is still work to do on the brand – we weren’t expecting it to go so well. But we’re now working on a franchise, which we’re hoping to be able to offer by Easter. We hope it will an attractive, low-cost option for those wondering what to do with this kind of pub.” The existing PoundPub sites are all free-of-tie. Here for You Hospitality operates a total of ten pubs and two hotels. Wardell told the Liverpool Echo this week that the idea behind the brand was “going back to the basics of what a pub should be about and being the hub of the community”. He added: “We pride ourselves on extremely well-managed venues where the licensing objectives, which prevent irresponsible drinking, are at the forefront of our business. Alcohol can be bought cheaper in the supermarkets. In our existing venues we have proved that concerns are unfounded. I think our critics need to give the general public more credit and realise that they are looking for good value, not necessarily to consume more.” Wardell previously said the PoundPub is aimed at the kind of person who would have frequented Working Men’s Clubs in a previous generation. He said: “(We have) an eye-catching logo and, I suppose it’s a bit cheesy, but the phrase we’re going for is ‘get more round for your pound’. At a time when 12 pubs a week are closing across the country we have to think outside the box a bit.” Fosters, John Smith, Strongbow and Theakstons are on offer at £1.50 a pint or £1 for a half pint – with J20, a large Pepsi and R-Whites offered for £1.

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