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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 21st Aug 2023 - Star Pubs & Bars looking to add 100 more Just Add Talent pubs by 2026
Star Pubs & Bars looking to add 100 more Just Add Talent pubs by 2026: Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars is looking to add another 100 pubs to its Just Add Talent (JAT) managed operator business by 2026. It wants to increase the JAT model from its current 150 pubs to 250 over the next three years, which will see it make up around 12% of the company’s 2,400 pub estate. The move is on the back of robust trading and the popularity of the JAT model among applicants for pubs, Star said. The model is particularly attractive in a high inflation environment as it covers energy and overheads, other than staffing costs, and offers a high level of support for operators. Star creates the retail offer centrally, including promotional offers, with operators are free to arrange activities and entertainment within set parameters. Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “Our JAT pubs are great sites which have real appeal to operators and local communities. Although JAT pubs currently make up only 6% of the Star estate, 28% of applicants for our pubs are for JAT pubs. Our JAT pubs are a core part of our overall business and provide an invaluable source of business insight for the wider leased and tenanted estate and Heineken. It allows the company to trial new products and evaluate consumer trends, with learnings from JAT estate and JAT supplier deals rolled out to our leased and tenanted estate.” The JAT estate was set up by Star in 2016 and saw Punch’s Falcon estate pubs converted to the JAT model when Star took on the Punch pubs in 2018. One pub that has benefited from becoming a JAT pub is The Reiver on Holmrook Road, Carlisle, which reopened in April, thanks to a £265,000 refurbishment, after being closed for two years. Aaron Selby, the new licensee, said: “My partner, Sophie, and I come from the community, and so realised how much everyone missed having a great local on their doorstep as there are no other pubs in walking distance. The response to the upgrade and pub reopening again has been overwhelming. For us, the low ingoing costs and support the model provides has given us an opportunity which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. It offers a great first step on the ladder for someone wanting to run a pub.”

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