Episode 92 Kris Gumbrell CEO Brewhouse and Kitchen


Welcome to the humans of Hospitality podcast with me. Mark Crib now we are getting a very very close to the fourth of July, and this podcast is coming on Tuesday. The twenty third of June the day that we are expecting Boris Johnson to confirm the fourth as the industry reopen date an hopefully even a drop in the to me to rule now for many of you listening to this, we will already know the outcome of that, but with bated breath I will leave. And get on with today's episode now about ten days or so ago, I was lucky enough to meet Chris umbral chief executive of Brew House in Kitchen and I met him at my restaurant jury lockdown. Now Chris. His name has come up a number of times with various people that I've chatted to any runs a couple of awesome local venues in my hometown of both, but I did not realize that we live only a couple of miles from each other until very recently. Now. Chris is a very experienced operator who had both a successful corporates as well as more entrepreneurial career. He knows metality. We briefly touched on Christie's earlier career, but spent more time chewing the fat on a broad range of hospitality topics. From s funding schemes, and some great perspectives on why debt is quite often, not the answer particularly relevant since the government constantly banging on the days the incredible opportunity they have created for our sector and others through the bills process. We also have a great conversation around hospitality is part of the rejuvenation and place making of towns and cities quite often they are the vibrancy, and the lifeblood area needs as a catalyst for investment and regeneration yet all too often with high rents and taxes, such important businesses are often only marginally viable something surely, the has to change post covert. Now, Chris has some excellent. gracie thoughts on rent negotiations, and how thinking outside the box looking for win win opportunities between the two parties can often lead to some very interesting solutions, and Chris is also planning a slow and steady reopen testing learning as he is the team go with some of the larger more spacious garden venues. All check into Chris was an utter pleasure, and all certainly be up with him for licy Kobe on another chat in a few months to see how he and Brew House kitchen performing. Now before I go you know the drill. If your regular listener enjoying the podcast I would really really appreciate your support any money you can donate by our patriots. Page goes onto hosting fees technical. Fundamentally, work the get heap of awesome guests on the show so that you can listen every week for free, so if you fancy by me, a thank you bear and offering your support head over to humans of hospitality dot co dot UK forward slash donate. Thank you and enjoy the chat. Chris Rumble Chief Executive of Brew House and Kitchen. Thank you so much for joining me on the PODCAST. Appreciate it while you say nice to be here and actually so this is the first one I've done face to face for about three months. I suppose because I've had to do the more remote because we are still just a dating this, we are still in pandemic land, but luckily I didn't know you were so local we are. We are sat on the terrorist of Urban Reef my restaurant and if you can hear, some noise in the background is actually the ocean, isn't it? So it it probably genuine pleasure I've even got a bakery absolutely beautiful coffee I studies that. nicey socially distances well, just anybody's concern. Yeah, we're SOCIETAS. We've got. We've got a terrorist that would probably about one hundred and fifty people and we've got it to ourselves. The way things unfortunately at the moment. Yeah, we're GONNA have some very jealous people looking up, US wondering what on Earth we did I. I came up here with my my wife and kids last week in in the heat wave, and had some pizza, and my wife was just felt terrible about even sitting sitting up, because so many people living here so people. Can. If. They want to spend over million quid on a restaurant. They can come up. They can can buy everything. I'm not going to feel guilty for sitting on my own terrace on my heart, absolutely and having a beer with a pizza, which was nice. I'm right, so the people who don't know you. You've got a fairly distinguished so long. I saw he'd won a lifetime achievement award the other day and I thought. Surely. fifty-three yeah. The Industry Lifetime Achievement Award for in October last year, so Yeah, that was the awards year. It's the The franken knows award for lifetime achievement in the industry so. Update in the house. The officially the old awards because I follow David. Bruce is going back to the pub chain. West Berkshire Brewery Capital Company so I know David while he's good pal and who had some guy in Tim Martin weatherspoon so I was the fourth person to get it so when I got this watch which I'm wary now very proudly, so that's very nice but yeah. I think it's probably because of big mouth that I. Go to, I think being quite challenging in the last twelve months. Really because I try to help you. His best icon and trying to look the sector where I can so there's an element of I think overseas well what we've done with apprenticeships, which is very close to a halt with embrassing kitchen. Now so yeah, very honored very humbled. Don't deserve it could be. Ten people the drop of a hat. We deserve it more than I did, but it was very nice. Exit well congratulations, thank you. Know Brew House and Kitchen started in two thousand twelve, and within five years. You had twenty one venues. That doesn't happen by accident, does it? You're clearly inexperienced operator. Can you just give a potted history of your background? And then what's Brew House Right? I mean just yeah I mean. Look down the east. Thirty one years Shis with university so or don't cities to two fire education as it was so. Yeah I mean I'm from Cardiff. Came down here for over the place when to uni spent. Probably too long working for Big Bruce, if I'm truthful till I was forty years old, only at three bosses radio, three companies with should Vasan Green. Crate job for Scottish and Newcastle for two years opening pups and Bosnian foreign markets as part of their export beer expert so had this stuffy career and be where you kind of get your company car and. And Your Pager in those days it was interesting, is mobile phones and you run around trying to be a good boy, and working to your KPI's running everything, ask the concepts and I had two years just working purely with entrepreneurs all over the world, so one of the best things I did was go to New York with David Bruce, who's the chapel, founded firkin pub, chain, slug and lettuce. He was involved in the very early stages, and he had multiple investments in US markets. David took me to New York and it was a real transformation week, because that was in one, thousand, nine, hundred and taken to Brooklyn Brewery. He was a founding investor of. Brooklyn Brewery and just came back I mean worked for stuffy. Old burs fears thinking beer will change I'm beer. Boise changed in the last ten years so why the clock forward picked up a group of freehold struggling in London about must be thirteen years ago now to turn around knows and sold them how to sex successful outsell knows and one of the things we did was some very early stage unbranded brew housing kitchen type developments we to two brewpubs, and we, the experience market growing We saw the crop bear market, growing and also We saw that you know service is going to be far more important than ever was before. And so myself I'm an old friend of mine became business, partners, Siobhaun, and we create brass and kitchen, and we opened office in two thousand thirty one o'clock forward. We have twenty two sites hopefully soon to be twenty three. You can get back on site. And yeah eight. Is a ride. Say Spare to say. Congratulations and well done for making that, so I was endangered out especially with a lifetime achievement award. Has that been at least? There's nothing behind it all. It's I'm shallow Ezekiel say Mark I'll tell you. There's not much to talk about and along the way that you became pretty Soviet funding because you you ray EIS. Scheme funds yes along. crowdfunding another mechanism, why was that so useful? I think it's a win. Win a good thing. If the the this the enterprise scheme for US manifest company took over was a company that was independent distress and Funded up by surprise, investment schemes and it coach told to investors in your in what was interesting is how. really kind of unconcerned. Most of the investors actually were even know you're cheating well. This is a great model because people get a tax break from the cash that they put in off their next tax bill, so you ten thousand quitting twenty s company then you're GonNa get three thousand quid off your next tax bill. If you're high rate tax payer. When the company exits and makes a gain, capital gains tax free, if it loses in the share, price collapses, you get full actually down to fifty P in the pound, so it's like a no brainer for an investor and the problem with the no brainers is people to get that passionate about them when they don't work. Whereas when you put your money in an owner, tax breaks, and you are subject to capital gains tax. You push harder, so that was quite an interesting dynamic and I feel actually if you could get over, the is cash and really look after it. And I'm we're closely with her show. She can get a lot more done. Kind of learned that with the first company we've raised several S and venture capital. Trust Funds Said's and we've we've. We've got a corpus. Corporation kitchen imitate them when we have three other businesses that are Franchisee into I have A. Stake in those businesses as well and we've been able to really push quite hard to other franchise business and a An, an core business. Really well. We really really well, and of course you know the franchise model is has been good because we run out a brand, so there's a significant change in the in the model unable. It's a shame and upping talking to various parties. We are always a Saffi's. They've been lobbying force with the treasury. UK specialty been lobbying. Is that now? What experiences pandemic enterprise investment seems that are perfect way for people to support hospitality businesses. Without US hospital praises having to be relied on on, get very agitated when I hear politicians immediately deferred to the fact that they've made so much data available. That he's debt at the end of the which ever way you dress it up, debt is debt and at the end of the day We have a crisis situation we can. We can laid lawn as much debt as we want. Now to companies just to keep them alive, we can for their teams, but at some point, hospitality needs to emerge from where we are now be able to stand on. Its two feet, pates team without requiring furlough. Service. And pay all the other bills like you know. Business, which are you know? We all know with fought to high. It'd be too high for far too long. The. P. R. S., which seems to go up every year for no reason, and that's just extortionate. Now bid fee. Somebody tells me what bids bid fees are all about I have no idea talking to looking at what bits do for the money so I of you know he's going to be quite tough and quite distressing. So some time now, enterprise investment scheme allows existing investors to follow their money and support proposed businesses through the equity route. I know the government is going to do is support some of that funding through a tax break, which is down the road again. It's down the road, so it's not an immediate cash. Cool on the government. All the banks so I think you know the government really tricky and really big opportunity I don't want state handouts. no ospital operator wants day. We love standing on a typically. We always put more in than we take out. And I was just recently how I felt about the scheme. The billions that is costing now look at the thirty eight billion quote. We pain every single year in hospitality into the system, and we see other industries get bailed out and supported parody outside of this current crisis. We never asked for anything. We get kicked and beaten and slashed and taxed to the hilt, regulated and licensed. And we never ever get a break. And now we're getting a break, and we really appreciate it, but we. It's not just about giving a staff and telling us all problems we fix by having access to more. It's not really fixing the problem. It's just storing up problems and making them bigger down the road, so enterprise investment schemes I, think a really big role to play SIS Games in the rules have been tightened and tightened and tightened over the years to really prevent restaurants in bars and pubs can access when surprise, investment scheme money and the other good thing about is is, they could be deployed so much more effectively. In local communities to get their spas and restaurants open. It's a really great way. The communities to buy into the sector invest into the local presences and a really efficient way. The is a win. Win for everybody. To ride, business, plan, and yet you still have to respect honor and and deliver value to shareholders I spent a good deal of time. Of. What I've been doing. The last four weeks told me shells. And without. yesterday from. we've not so six letter sent to show is now since April. Just tell the more during and give them not support. So I think enterprise investment schemes one good way, but there are numerous good ways that we can actually still one of the interesting things about. The rules changed in two thousand fifteen, and we think that was clearly part of a big compliance. Push by David Cameron pre going into the Brexit vote. we have to change in the finance act or not really constrained us. By topping out the amounts of capping the amount of money that we could raise really tightening up on the types and styles, trading businesses that he is could be applied to now. That was to conform with European regulations now a leaving Europe. You know and not something like person agree with be. Let go in, and that's it and we're just gotTA. Make the best of it, but what a great opportunity to reorder review the rules and start again and white cane, and look at how the state through taxation can support business investment. It's so easy. Listening I think they are the feedback we go from the Treasury's very good. I think to be fair to the guys at UK hospitality. They're fighting battles. On the, Weeks ago I mean she's a force to be reckoned. She is she is she? Is He's amazing and. Yeah, you do. I'm just being so impressed by them to be on. We with a second office as well to the guys were because sheltie kind of US office because they live near where one of our sites so as we see them a lot and I'm always boring them. With my in my ideas and things, but they are very patient and very supportive, but yeah. I mean this is a fairly pivotal moment I think you and I are waiting this week. Ready to see what comes out you feel. They're making up as they go along a little bit in. Although I haven't read it I said so UK hospitality seventy five page proposal together I think Augusta opening, didn't they? I've been summer morale. That Mike is using it as part of our operations plans, so it sound. Pages? Twelve weeks I've never went myself so much as a half in the last twelve weeks and a lot of it doing stuff that you wish you got soon. You know but one thing is i. haven't read a seventy five page report submitted our ideas as PA AH canvassing. Process Chaos -ality went through on. Yeah on balance. We're getting I think we're getting good representation. People think that people know what we're about now. Think politicians, no other about think, Kate. Walks a very fine line when pro probably going into meetings where she wants to scream at times coming out to those meetings with politicians, but bites lip. Credibly diplomatic incredibly balanced. And it's done a good job representing all sector, and then you can leave kind of the more on tagging. Elements of people shop done much of that, but I think you can leave that to other people to do. I think Kate's go in and win win hearts and minds. You've always trying open doors closed doors. Basically, and that's the challenge I think. Public authorities is? Quite there's no. They shut the doors because love the Moldovan at the end of the day. You have dealt with absolutely I, do think there seems to be an opportunity for hospitality. Coming off the back of this a little bit like people falling back in love with the maybe and appreciate what they do. Hospitality has held its head quite high in the last few months with its charitable support, feeding key workers, just getting the recognition about being the biggest employer in the country. Do you feel like it feels like a more? A better represented sector now, but it did three months ago. I think he has I think I. I think we do what we do I mean we assume I if you take cosmetology as An entity that we both work in I. Think we've always been very fraternal greatly. Even, though we compete with each other friends who work in retail and it's. That each other's throats. Even Athena's like a dinners and as on that parent is pretty pretty criminal fierce, and and he's very very competitive and retail sector, which is not like that you know when we get together. We band together Wolf. Acre be because of the nature of our work. The you know the numbers of people who employ in the nature. Of being hospitality people is that we want to be. In the sort of kinship being in our business, for some fraternal elements of being in business, important and I think people are now looking at senator distress from realizing what they could put could potentially lose as. I mean everybody you know you talk to any politician and they they say I want you know support your pulse in the community? They will say yes in a heartbeat, but still sign off a beard, ut increase, or they're still sign up business rates increase or they'll you know so although regulate? Although you know they'll, they'll they'll you know beat you up whatever you decide to do on tips or Or implementation of minimum wage, so you kind of that kind of politicians wanted both ways and I think public. I always say like children. You know they sometimes needs to be seen, but not heard. I spent many years as Green King a tendency director, and we'd have two or three puffs in village. Knew One of the pubs to close now we'd be in. East, angry or Oxford show, we have big presence, and you'd had you get angry letters, and the and the meetings and you'd be there and saying that we got the team tenant going through the site in now on free rent and support, and or you know, and there's somebody else's could get to go bust only to come out site. People used to go mats, and then I always remember my boss who's brilliant kept asked holding managed to keep it a table alleger of everybody in the village. Up In readiness for one of those meetings, and it was very thin list. and. Soon as people started asking questions, he asked for that and I. We can take them off the list you any questions in village and I think that goes down to the fact that sometimes people will say they love pops bill I post offices as well. They'll say they love pumps, and they want their local pubs to be supported, but will they use them? We'll. They came out and really support their pups and I think this is focused people to think actually. We could lose them now and I think we've probably all GONNA. Lose them I think whatever happens in the next couple of weeks and months. I think there are pumps out there and restaurants bars. That will never reopen. And is terrible terrible tragedy because we're employing a million people. but what's left? People really knew need to get behind and when I come in. You know, don't if you come in for point with your paper, don't sit on a table six. Get grumpy if you're asking me if you know, we have to be so so stretched, we gotta work so many you guidelines, which will renew our teams and new to us as management. and New to guests as well, and we will go to work together. I spoke to somebody yesterday, and they said he had a real fear when he opens of somebody filming. Some kind of breach of the guidelines and putting on social media, and then you're GonNa get moles and attacked and. We put out with even with opening whatever next door to where we are now. which over the heat waves had a? Really busy a lot of negative publicity, you'll have seen locally about the state of the beaches and how busy they were, and how many people coming down and you do feel like we work in hospitality, Kaz fundamentally. We WanNA. Make people happy. To look after them and we want to provide a service. Yes, we've donate money, but very rarely. Do people wake up in the morning? And start with money they start with. How can we do better today? How can we look? Supermarket Masters don't they say challenging. Burger you know, and you get applied that supermarket mass I can go out and buy a bigger for this X. Amount I. Put a bum with anything and show them. The business rates bill. That's the first one and then show them, PR s in the bid fees and the weight, and then the wage bill. Always anybody who wants to go through our accounts. I've always said anybody complaining about. Send them down to me. We spend. We spend four grand. A year on went on training. Yeah, you know we've spent a fortune on training while I just to because we're so concerned about the welfare whilst furloughs, so we've spent huge amount in training, which I'm really pleased to do. I don't resent. It's an investment you know, but there is so much more to it and people's expectations so much higher, the expectations on price, a broadly fat, getting lower and I think you know we want to give people a great experiencing good value for money, but you know now he's you know it's a clarion call really fresh. Say let you gotTA support your local restaurant Bar pub. Now because they're going to need it, and when you come in, be a bit patient mobility understanding. If you'RE GONNA, problem if you see something that's not appropriate. Discuss it with the management because we're all still learning. I don't sticking on social media and get shaped by thousands and. Claiming. It's just it's just the extension of advisors and is that people have realized they might work and effort and the human aspect of what's going on. Destroy team and. Story Team Destroy Business units like. People, people know some people complain about opening, and I'm like. No, we know you know owned by Board of directors in London with with millions of pounds of investment. It's like you know I I I will lose my house, and that's not find a way to navigate through this. That's that's the reality of over. What's frustrating? Is that everybody? Says yet nope, supportive and help, and then you look at the size of the cues, the McDonald's drive through in the last ten days since they put a two hour wait. For I was GonNa, swear that about. Sued and then. The drug thrown AFO insanity, not only for seven hours a weekend. Then you look at how holidays to get people to come out Amboise Yeah Darren Yeah people say one thing you said with with the village pub. Being critical customers I just want to. If you can't conscious I've had started a okay evidence at parliamentary hearing last year by the PUP sector! And you know it's very interesting when you I really eyeball MP's. Who you know it's. GonNa you know. These are the Steel Party parliamentary group. Anyway, so he's the pub in beer and the guys within their on site anyway. But. How much do you really care? How much do you really really care about sector? Because you know e, there's lots of fine words about how people want to support us what they WANNA do for pubs, restaurants spas keep talking about pups. and actually delivered in reality. and. Know we are big and I think what must be brilliant in as with the old mark and together with the Restaurant Association, the nightclub guys forming new, K. hospitality is that we can look anybody Neil with the third largest employer in the UK with a third largest sector. Taxation is through the roof. Mean thirty billion quid every single year going into the system. We take nothing we give everything we've been responsible. Look at the CAPEX that goes out goes on within our sector. You Derelict Town Center. You get an docks de dark and undeveloped. Any kind of you take the high streets now. What's something the high streets and you hear time and again I hear from NPR even from local councillors even down here as the. Leisure will pick up the slack. They will pick up the space and we won't. Though we won't, and you've got to look after the less you got, and you mentioned earlier on about you know directors in London. You've got big companies now. Who are wobbly? Big Firms while wobbling like mad and I'm not gonNA mention anything stare, but there's GonNa be some real lightning. Next couple of weeks came close to the rank quarter. I'm Jay. Jd would say it's the imminent implosion of our sector absolutely. About hospitality is, is place making wayside here on me this this speech would not be the same without some sort of bar where you can sit at the back of grab a coffee and grabbed. Town centres. We regenerate areas with for me. The point of being on planet earth us to spend time with friends and family over some food or drink. It's the point behind existence, isn't it? Absolutely, it's more exciting than NIP it into a shop it into a bank or or doing everything on line yet. Your absolutely right well. You would hope that you can't do what we do. Online you now, so so you know what? WHY SHOULD WE BE Why should we pay twelve percent of the business rates take on the high street, but be less than five percent of the revenue. So so. So, so, why? Why does that happen? Why does that happen? You know we are. We're the we're. The horse is GonNa win the race. If you back us now and you give us the support now we're gonNA. Be Able to step into US based on the streets along with a lot of other planning challenges around. You know bringing residential I. Mean I keep up? Why! We've got a couple of high street sites anywhere. You mean they do worry me at times, but I'm convinced that highstreet will be reclaimed into residential. High streets will be communities in the next ten fifteen years time when reality sets in, but even when you sit at a local level and listen to council talk about frustrations replanning planning teams who are so hung up on zoning about luxuries here retail has to be there and you know at least buildings officers. You know this this postcards from the I two that we have around and I've had so many battles. It listed buildings, officers and I. Tell The square wheel analogy. You know they are happy to keep a wheel square. Because he's always been square, but the square wheel is not fit for purpose, and we had a former town centre. Battling, about plenty fireplaces I mean it gives my time again on that site I probably wouldn't have done that. Developments spent the money that we spent and created the job some great, because we compromise too much relisted buildings, we should have walked away from the site and blood that lesson and walk away again. Because the buildings, and and that is that going to be massive challenge to the high streets is listed. Buildings can have to suck it up and and keep quiet and listen to what the people understand how the future is going to look and go with that because lowest, GonNa, try and hang on to the past, and these buildings shops are going to be boarded up and closed down. I will fall apart, and they will change hands, and in the end they will collapse, and we've got to be more progressive in our thinking. Is that because the one in the town centre that the the sort of? Restrictions were prohibitive to make you an effective space. Battles about five places that don't work in things that haven't worked for years, but when fireplaces in place and locations of staircases and that Y'all could have opened up that site so much, I mean you know it's one example I could list you. Several examples may not be Nina toe to keep certain five staircases in place, but block up tops. You have five place that goes nowhere. And I've walked around in and. Stability photographing everything say why don't want to get a record of all of this and you suddenly feel terrified of investing in your, you know your. Job is to make it harder Robinson. Necessarily mean unless scenario you know we all members, the national. Trust, and I love. The history. Of this country and what we've done, but. If we try, you cannot change what is happening right now? By hanging onto the buildings, we've got to allow these buildings to adapt and change and I i. It's it's planning policy fit for purpose always planning and actually plan fit for purpose sometimes particularly when you're dealing with clients who are part time and you know you hear that they're working as consultants in another borough. How does that work I'm my problem with also offered is the. It's based purely on what they like what they don't like. How is that relevant headphones in my house and I was like. You're not gonNA live here. I'M GONNA. Live here just because you don't like and. Planning legs issue, but you don't like it. Don't come over. I was no plans on inviting you? I mean we writing the checks? I mean wouldn't WanNa checks unless we could see. I'm a big believer in working with the sympathy of the building. What we're going to south I. think he's fantastic. I think what we achieved. The South phone, which interesting wasn't listed building. Thankfully, otherwise pretty little walked away from that one. It's still be boarded was going to say. I want to talk about even if we weren't having a podcast because that was an amazing space had an amazing history. I used to go there. You know so a seventeen year old. Don't nights. Yeah, exactly yeah. Yeah. And it was, it was brilliant, and I looked around it because a man what incredible space so I went and looked around. And there's a couple of things. One it was a massive, and it was absolutely huge, and it really came to light, so how big it was when you went upstairs and it was something like six different flats, and they were. They were one bed flats to three. I fell through the floorboards. I really wanted to get sight because it's. It's an amazing amazing space, but I thought Mike Golic GONNA need being big cash to get that back open I. Needed a lot worse. Yeah, how did you come about getting that one was it was it was I? Thought! It would yeah, it was. I wanted yeah. I think we spent more than. Two Point two and a half times. What we thought it was GONNA cost. Any end, but we finally know for the building, and thing is living down here as well I mean the history of the site is. The site was part of a big property state where big pub company obviously done I. An OPCO pro co structuring a few years ago, so the free was owned by a company. That was you know not. Just lots of ups and they'd supply the pub to a pub company. Tied least pub. Company and the keys are being thrown back. On that side back in two thousand and eight with ridiculous lease is really expensive. Yeah, well, what was the way it will do? What was happening is the past rent from the pub company while conflict too much other than the. From the pub company to the to the freehold owner was I. was actually I will ring so Nicole. She knew that well. I know signed that agreement. That's another story. I put it to the months over lunch and. Not to sit with me after after the after the main course, but. You so what we did. We just negotiated a purchase. Price in a freehold negotiated a reverse premium, which is effective you. A landlord is a Tennessee so. Hamstrung by that least they have to pay a premium and I've done to these actually. Where of Co pay me to walk away from headaches it's. Quite useful and so kind of under it. The cost of kind of broadly makes it underwrites the field acquisition really to a degree. You wonder why they didn't do the deal, but but we just had this feeling that. We knew we had a great community to work with in south and he's a fantastic community. And we knew we had a good community to work with. You could see the direction of travel in south born with You know what was happening already. People like David and Nicholas Donna. The White Bear the chaplains done lot of house You know even. Just, a real good feeling about this every the property look really underpriced and e thinking they're. This place is going to go nuts. You can just feel it. And of course when you're running a pub company, the other side of the country. You don't know those things so living down here so everybody. Of course he was falling down on me. There's a lot of emotion I'm going to the site when I was a student young game. You know slotted there, so you kind remember all and everybody was very fond of it. And as soon as we announced we bought it, it just went. Absolutely massive I mean we I did a walk around for the echo as well and it was quite breathtaking. How bad it was really was. Walked around. It was three ceilings. In some parts of different ceilings, and of course it was, but yeah I mean now. You know we've now got plans. Provisional Plans to Tony back into hotel upstairs, so we call three holiday flats set the marlins plus two other flats plus loads of accommodation for staff. Anything else, so we go. We go plans to probably next year now. We would have started this year. We'll go for next year. Yeah. It's it's been wonderful, and and we did the final of the current building back last year we converted the. Garage to the back into function by function events base. So. It's been good, but we pride ourselves on nine of our sites in the entire group derelict closer win pumps before it was reinforcing the point that we were chatted about which was the number of people here even though I'm on the sea front, who think I get canceled support to be here? They said all the accounts must be really helpful. You know. They always hope you're even with reservations. At the moment. Being close they must be great must be really good. Having the counselors, a landlord and just presumption that you're part of the place making only come here. You know you've really transformed Boston. It was known as the Chateau you know. and. You have yeah, but you don't get the opposite to support I. Get I get on well with of now look at challenges. Historically, but you certainly don't get any financial support, even if you get a few more claps and cheers now, but it's the same as you were saying, know you you. You get taxed in the same way that you wouldn't have had any support with, but not only are they not being supported that potentially making it harder, but what you did help transform saplings. That was a big property. It was derelict for years. It looked a mess. You lifted high-street by renovating and police agents. It was a single biggest question they had about the highstreet when we actually announced. We bought it the first thing that we do Russell up visuals the outside. Because it was such a problem to the agents in the air, they were asking us to say. What's GonNa look like what's going on, so it's GonNa. Just give me one of these asymmetric visuals. You know the flowers and the baskets in the science, so they go show that it will eventually actually. We turned it round much. Of, project but to. SPEND ON A. That's that's developing. big-ticket, big big number, a real bossy call for us. It was I'm not gonNA. Number was that in your God it was like seven right? Yeah, I, remember it being exploded in two thousand, fifteen sixteen. We just went nuts. Because I really wanted to, but I was so pleased, because I knew I couldn't afford it and it was going to be expensive, so. It was a good kind of pretty much. Yeah, it was a big role of the dice, and my who runs all the property? Sorry Simon. Cost gone up again and you go okay what we found and he said well, they still do the little through. Somebody's nato-led off the roof, so we can affect. You need to replace the roof and that building is a monster. So we have to, so we literally you could stand, and then we realize all the flaws around obsessed so unite on viewings. I even took Christmas the counselor. This time around the upstairs was condemned. We shouldn't have been up there in front and we couldn't even check the back of the building because it was so rotten. But basically five hundred goods with Allegra and author roof meant three hundred grand roof needed. Pleased you did it because I thought somebody's GonNa come office down and rebuild it. But it was. Really pleased. This costs if. I. What was most bizarre? Remember Saints Myself, a Fist Costco's past one point six million, or just turned into houses. Just get planning for houses on. It went over on. The good thing is the pivotal point for us was when the local start get behind run. Yeah, this is going to be a big on. This is going to be really good for us. And it was, but we did it. You know I saw was a Derek Wettest? Spoons puppets too small for them and Portsmouth. A second sight was an old outreach pope on the eldest POTPOURRI development. That shirt for three years was derelict. We remodeled that sites. You know, so, we We've always gone in. An toughed it out and gone for stuff that we think. We know we know. It's not alchemy. You know we're not sending you know. crapping to go, but just we're just going and looking for things that bigger companies missed. I remember it for drinking the green king voice very well, and they acquired the company that we were buying. The Headley's from only say was. You can easily narrow it down. Bringing the public director is a friend of mine. You don't WanNa. Take the steelers, are you? and. He said now he said we looked at rubbish, and he said we looked at. We looked at the area and we've looked at it on Google maps and taking great. You know great big companies do things that way. They woke up it down the street on the computer, and they don't get the Vibe, and then they'll get the energy and they don't get. EXACTLY RIGHT SO He was mad I mean we. We just I remember the first week we open it. We just couldn't believe what was happening. And it still is still an actually I can announce today. It'll be the first to reopen. Really yeah out of the whole of the UK for pre K., because we're all close to it. We have the following I well. Yeah, because we're nervous, you know I mean like all operators and nervous rule never something we will think you while the have is GonNa, go, you know what's GonNa Happen and we know we've got the space off got an amazing GM doc Just, read experienced guy and very capable. A very cool was never panicked and he's always. He's always very YOU PRETTY WANNA pay increase if he lists. But anybody. Super fate he runs up and down your everyday. You'll see him in a minute, yeah! He wants a job. No, but I mean. Come in panic. And we'll deal with people really well, because we all worried, you know we all worried about you know what this is going to be like. But. You know that will be the one that will open, and yes, he's going to try and for us as actually the best returns always are we spend obviously the most on the sites that have derelict closed. You're also known from predominant freehold rather than yeah. Yeah. We are seventy five percent frilled. So, you must yeah, yeah, well, it's the It's partly sway if you know at the end of the day if you want to raise money. Investors want protection, and if you can give them a good brand which I think. We've got a decent brand you. Can Grow, and has any has grow. Your businesses, current and relevant so whether it's crappier. Experienced busy toes on a million pounds a year just for master calcium masterclasses, Bernie Kennedy so that we have a lot of innovation in a huge amount of experience now sitting in drinks sector for experiences with the market. So you know you give listen, bestest tick, tick, tick, tick tick. And you could independent we free holds. puffy. Is a pretty good investment for people and actually. Life Roads I'm not many battles. We landlords I was GONNA. Say a few decent wealth been quite reasonable. Brenton disposes. I'll have to say I mean I've been watching all the. You and I follow the same people I'm sure, and I look at all the the the really valid opinions that are flying around I, also see a lot of rhetoric, and I say Agassi things backfiring a little bit and worries me. I've I I've got a couple of retailers notes about three retail leisure development site, landlords and I've got a couple of private. Commercials I don't do pub. Co leases I'm not into the actual and You know I don't have to say. I mean Elvis bits for us. He's not relevant or interesting, but outside of that there is no market for them, and if I put a police into a group of pubs now, this toxic pill as a poison pill in deal so I am Reefa me and a lot people that have a different view but I i. don't support him now. I wouldn't bring him in. I'd like to speak as an ex tenting least direct drinking. We know better so. Just in case big enough anymore I think they just want too much. On I think and I feel very sorry, because tennis cost-saving have increased. Proportionately Greater. Than the landlord's costs Orlando, the senior last two years is lower interest rates. And attendant to set to suck up all the rest so i. don't get it anymore and I said I speak from the other side of the fence. But. I have to say I've taken the attitude. If you can get aggressive, we landlords pointing emotionally landlords and But thank people breathing annex, and and I've tried to take did a deal last week. with the landlords I try to take a different approach because he had something that I wanted, which was extra space. And, he had something He wants I. had was some capacity to pay some rent and. We got to be challenging about this thing, so we're not getting any income and we're going to be spending. Probably the best part ten thousand people signed. Into sanitizer stations screening and we haven't had any revenue. I dread to think of any millions. Pounds of. Revenue I've lost in the last thirty weeks. So, so yeah! At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good your bank covenants or if you don't take any money told. Pro eubanks so so it's tough for everybody, but I've tried to be. Collaborative and tried to listen to the landlord side of things as well and and I have to say on balance I'm very happy, you know. We got all sorts of mixture of different things going on. We've got enhanced deals. We've got the usual things where some people have said well, we'll wait rental. Defer payments, or we'll give you breaks, but people be more creative in some areas as well and they've talked about giving you extra space and. Coming up with investment plans are coming out of the back of this sorts of the things and I think you. You've got to write your own balanced scorecard and I don't want to. I try to listen to too much of the noise going on somewhere else because they're expecting you to come them. With, all of that. And and you know pads. and I've said one discussion negotiation aspects. I'm not going to give you that I'm GonNa give you something else to think about and I. Sit think for long enough in any negotiation. You'll find things that were few and things that we're for that. It just feels like it needs to be shed basically, doesn't you can't the hundred percent of the burden? No, I'm. Trying to do that, I haven't had one nine. They'll try to do that so and and you know I mean I have to say we in the most interesting almost AFL. Who? They come up with blinding proposal and we didn't even get any gone to them. We were on our list of landlords to ring. Ages came out with something with a wow. If you go out with everybody else, we say. You know a onto too much, but it was a great deal. You know it was a free recognized and a fat, but again that's a That's a public body. Now people would supply the same principle USA. Surely the council have been sympathetic and down here. You can't say I am not canceled. Tani than have been very sympathetic I think they've just gone into seized up there just terrified of making any cool either way down. Unofficial Truce Chris. That's what we've got. WE'VE GOT A. Thing. For me. an not everybody would agree with this locally. Some people need clarity sooner and I've been desperate to do a deal because it's very hard to negotiate at the moment until we know we'll coming outside, so you just touched on this. What what is it going to be like an? If I'm going to be closed down him on the see from? There was very strong case to say that we shouldn't open tonight next year. We shouldn't. We should just skip the winter, but the difference between numbers GonNa look after November after October. It's always the time we run loss anyway in the winter. Winter, but normally we have the. We have the revenue from the summer to carry us through the winter, but absolutely it made sense to the only reason we generally open is to keep the team employed ready for the summer, but we can't afford Harry the team through this winter, so you know until we get more clarity, and and maybe if if we get to trade July and August and it rains for two months. That's very different to have an absolutely stunned. July August personally I've to be said. Let's sit around the table over coffee when you see crap to be dating within the time. Yeah, we'll meet up at the end of the summer will make a plan and we'll see where we're. Talking About Right I mean I always think we're? You know we're the winds with. At things that they can give you which don't cost them that much and look at the things that they really need. Because what happens is well on going to too much detail, but when you get to a situation talking the MD of a very well known retail leisure, the kyw is talking about massive redundancies team keeping his investors bank of at, and he's bankers at bay. The guys building showed us you know, and actually so I can always someone discussion and we came up with a great life. What was a really good plan holding on? Anybody you you I said. Do you scorecard look at all the things you want to achieve? This deferment payments where you feel because there is no added value to can come in the way that maybe a wave a waiver is the right thing to do. You got to look at in the context in which you're paying and I I was talking to somebody else week. Osram me for advice on a US. When. He told me he was ranked. As if you pay your rent, shut your mouth, 'cause. Banking Sector, so don't put the guy or any precious evey gets external advice you could be. The next review, so you know. I mean you know if they can secure right now. Trying get future rent resume reviews resolved. A great win is to extend the lease. If you're happy where they need leverage the bank one of the ways they can leverage the negotiation in a rent. Discussion is by tagging on an extra year on the stuff at suit shoe. Because you clap, it'd be that. They! You know if the circumstances are right the pianolas working you can kind of map out your rents op. He is I, mean I I like Pr Renton where I am. How much is going to go by captain? College and you don't fall out with anyone. No, it's true. With anyone you know whether it's a business right there. That's been years. Argue tenants when I was in gain about you know. Why don't you complaining now? At least you knew, the wrench structure was GonNa Bay, and of course it's not work so somehow my fault and sometimes it is and people I'm doing their jobs to support. And sometimes just things go wrong and I was playing the landlord. Yeah, I, think you learn as life goes on I. Think in the early days you felt you fall in love with the premises and you just want to, and you'll almost do anything and then later come on. And you realize to be fabric to chat about earlier. Who knows my Lenovo Center? perfectly logical, rational human being. He's a businessman easier with looks at it goes zero revenue. You know whatever the deal is. What comes with kind of reflects that, and it's fine, and it's you know again. It's like we haven't even agreed yet. Because the minute. I'm like I don't know. When I can. Say. Let's we know we'll do. We'll sit around the table and with fresh to to be fair to the council. They've been very good in the fact, they've not. They've no hassle me. I've kind of put my point of view day for that point of view and I said that's reconfigure warns, and also let's sit at a table. Let's not try and organized by Zoom. Zoom take over people's rights I. Like sitting face to face with somebody. Just tell the truth Sharon. The numbers chew the fat, and yet they're on a number of cash. Burn on a monthly basis. You thinking about got four hundred twenty fellows. Got A. Skeleton team still working, but security costs. We got pest control issues which you have to ramp up typically in London. Because soon as soon as the humans aren't around, you really going to defend your properties against things like that. You know you've got concerns. We were worried about things like riots. The beginning to fight burglaries actually touch word that's been. That's been okay. One fire. which was been, and that's okay but you've got this cash grown anywhere. This is cash presumably, so you haven't needed to go for bills out, but you had you had money. I guess was bring ring-fenced or lot. ring-fence ripon. Sounds, we have we have reserved. We have reserves. We've got a development onsite. Slow down into back, but. We are You know we we. We were in pretty good shape. into it, knowing perfect shape or not, you know at the end of the day. You call lost forever. Nobody can many places. Any business can last for too long was probably much cash. The backdrop incident was the perfect storm scenario. We're GONNA. Have a helicopter flew overhead in a minute so? Sale the might copes. But you know you had you had tough trading conditions on the highstreet. In general. We had a period of stasis three years. Greenwich At the end multiple elections than we had a very wet, saw me on winter site for us. You know it's the most. Challenging that. Because! They're making sure that West Palm Chris. Is What it is. Militarism that. I'll. I'll tell you right. About everything conspiring against us, but you know. That's the good thing about hospitality retail seems seems to be extremely fragile years ago. I got involved there. It was changing licensing laws and like all. These working parties, you know government to these focus groups. They've already decided what they're gonNa do, but they can tell everybody that the consulted. and was at one in London. There's a coffee station and you get all the kind of civil servants I'm one guy sets the other. Day and he said Pretty much set with again. What's going to happen anywhere? The other guy said Yeah. He said the good thing about this self healing. And it was very interesting. Statement are hurt and walk back. And I was come into the Coffee Cup of shaking associated. Was that bloody angry? You know the the an pubs and hospitality is always being self healing. You Chuck the fast at Taxation Regulation Bit Licensing Beer as PR s increases, bids fees all this nonsense. That we have to wade through and yes, some things. Some of these things are very beneficial to us than useful and something's adjust tax by the back door and you. Just deal with it, but this. This become deal with this now. We can't do we all so vulnerable to it yet like I said such an important part of the reason to live on planet fan. Absolutely finds SOC- we don't WanNa live my. Life in our in my living room, one hundred percent relative. Niceties we, my wife and my daughter is wonderful timing the time with my daughter now being home schooled, he loves. Those, she's thirteen. Okay? Yeah, so eleven and twelve year old at home as well. Watch my wife, the teacher. She's going back to work a couple of days. Okay. A little stretch from the business perspective, so yeah, I've got one for the next couple of days actually, but it's been good. It's been good to spend in the conscious of time which we're going to run out very shortly. sepals Guy and reopening. Then he said when was about it? You're going to kind of open one so some statistics I'm doing Carl from CGI at the guys behind the stats, the industry you know there's a lot of people. It's not just a case of saying okay. You can open on the twenty second or the fourth, or whenever is and the industry will bounce back most operators saying that. Not only they won't. They call venues on the same day, but it doesn't seem to be a rush to just go. Okay great here. We go with straight into profitability. What the considerations for you around reopening and your your biggest concern? My? David. My Biggest concerns is going to be cash the cash good in the first couple of weeks, so we modeling every sites PNL not to sit back and open, and just burn cash. Because then it's going to put jobs at risk. So we can't do that. We've got the get the right level of investment that you We're very. We all get invest, and we all GonNa make the environments as safe as we possibly. Can we get that wrong You know that's going to be a problem for us that we have to. We have to make sure that we We get the right side, so we've got to focus on the big Delta sites because everybody knows that gardens are GonNa make people. site feels safer. We've just had a survey completed across our business. We Service Monitor Group, so we've. We've talked ninety three thousand guests on our own database and. Interesting point was made is that our guests are not frightened of us? They're frightened of each other really. Yeah, which is a great thing? Should even when asked about two meters meters wherever the government regulate, people want more than one, so that's interesting dynamic. What do you do about that now by having that in place means that. It will make the regulation the regulation environment around social distancing sight easy for us one meter. But. We still be conscious. The fact people will want space between each other can't just is not a licensed to sunny pack morning again, so we've got to be mindful of that so we're gonNA take a phased approach who are going to open fi sex five five sites over five days. I'M GONNA. Take a breath. I'm going to see how they all The hold of the senior match rookie in the business alongside manages which is constantly GONNA be talking to people. And I'll be nationwide, so we're going to really scattergun across We know we'll be. There's one in London that we picked out in the first trunch. down here. We'll pick a couple of good garden sites on the Sakho so it'll be a couple more down here. That will go first and Yeah, then we'll just listen. To people and people feeding that be huge amount lessons learnt We've been training our staff now for twelve weeks, so we run the leadership programs. We driving up especially training. We have six weeks flow for induction training. We've brought flow up-to-date. Nearly every team member now competed fully compete to their induction quite tense, because it will be analogy expecting people. Yeah, so you know we've got all people ready. We gotta get people in the right mindset. We've done a huge amount of welfare support. thraw teams because. People around eighty percent pay nothing to two. Weeks and So. We've been concerned how people be. Feeling suffers to tell him how to feel that time, but we'll keep an eye. On you know. People's healthy, okay, mental health physical. We do mental health first aid training with a few of. What if you have more senior management innovation this at operational level? So yeah, we got lots to do and. I feel. Confident. That was in as good a place as we can be, we need. Guests to come. We need guests to be patient and supportive and understanding that we might not get it right. Sometimes, people forget a bit of the protocol. The new protocols have to relearn that there that jobs now but I do think that there You know this going to be some opportunity outlet. In a long simply looking at potential fundraising right now. As well so. Obviously, if If the opportunity presents itself. You need to be ready. To Base I. Think isn't the. lossing I want I want to do is He's he's lose anybody on way my fear right now. We feel on I'm speaking generally know about my business particularly as an awful lot, people colonel furlough, probably unemployed. Absolutely, they just don't know yet. And hundreds of thousands I would say I would say you're probably right and I need to make sure that. The work is damn hard as I am from it and myself. My Business Partner Committee March when we. We shut the business ahead of a police. told us to close are pretty angry way. He played out in the Monday night because we saw trade collapse on that Tuesday morning, To me. That was just. What's the expression being too unkind? Boris account in a panic. Discussion. Why not you know, just pick up the phone. Speak to Katie. You would say. We need to jump. We'll jump together. We'll tell us not come to. I'm telling you guys to close close now and get ready. get the business ready. We'd have such a place. Quite a few operators didn't do themselves any good that week. by fiercely resisting having to close closed early as soon as I knew the fellow was coming, and we knew people packages in place I. Did what the problem I've had this debate with people about when you should have closed. On a closed on Tuesday morning. What she's I would have panic. My tape I would terrify them I needed to wind the business down. We close on Thursday afternoon. and I it was the right thing to do gentle closure we had full. We communicated with our all of our team members every single day or not we can. We saw every single team member on that Friday So so. We closed gently. we're going to reopen in the same way gently and say in supportive for all teams. Okay, and what's lastly government support changes to the package them and they every time they get asked the question they come out. We say look we we've given you. See Bills we've given you grounds. Even though seventy one percent of the hospitality sector doesn't qualify for them What what what what? What more can they do? Fairly good. He's probably the best thing. The government is done yeah. I also think that the chancellor is. I feel very confident when he's got his hand on the Tiller. Yeah so I think I think that's been good. Still Kid ourselves. The government have not given us. Yes, t-bills, all done is agreed of package of guarantee and support to the bank who make. Give us. The money based on the level of guaranteed support, they will get from government. Nobody is giving anybody anything. That's exactly all these borrowings are the grants I would say be very good. you qualify for a couple of you. We were cunningly. I think we were to out in both directions we were fifty was between fifteen and fifty one. I one, thirteen, one, fifty, three, and this one was. The one benefit of buying very small tires on the underdeveloped pubs as that you know, we have reasonably decent RV values on a couple of sites, so we did okay on that one so so that's been good. But Yeah I. Mean You know? Rights holiday. Anything else you'd need. That comes up any other thoughts on something. We need to VAT Thursday. We need to borrow. We all were very hard as a population, this country to flatten embarrasses Sombrero. You and I have some Brera. Friday Saturday Sunday. We need the. We need Weenie Joe public to come and see us. Monday, Tuesday Wednesday case please flat the trading patterns. We don't have the capacities on the key shifts. So. Come and see us Monday Tuesday Wednesday night. Please make that your Saturday night. Because it protects the shifts teams that are working. Flattens the trade. We don't have the capacity and if we can move. Because, we don't have the capacity. We can move staff hours from the weekends into the mid weeks. If you give you come and supporters in the Midwest and we can protect jobs. That would be amazing. Certainly most the models in at best opening five days, not seven. Yeah, and the reason for that is because it means we can run on one team whereas being open seven days a week from eight in the morning till eleven means we need three teams, but the problem with that is a sixty percent and team, and then and I need them back in April. Yeah, we need to articulate. Heartbreaking thing is we know although I mean I'm worried now of credibility. You know the message government. I mean that's wobble debate. Now people were doing is they told in the first few weeks? It almost seems Ward Mobile Tibet and I'm worried about that now. Because there was a window of opportunity where government could have said look if you're working from Home Jimi, friends nightime the puck lanes though. You're going to tell you you're gonNA get good deal. Probably, and if you work from home in a rocket up kind of cool, pass they up a site, the boss will see you zoom at nine o'clock. You'll look, you'll pull it off. Mainstay Saturday flatten awesome Brera now. Message think we can get that out to the public and say what you know. What can you do? Come out come out on a Tuesday or Wednesday quieter helps everybody out everybody out, but the thing is to protect jobs as well because then we can stay in seven as we can spread, it shifts out protective, but he's income. It won't make any more money for us. We're GONNA make. Sure come, we yeah, we keep the team, but will protect teams, and that would be great, and that doesn't mean that next summer for us. Certainly be aware very seasonal with our outside space, but yeah, we can keep the teams employed right I've conscious that you need to. Thank you for. People go to follow either you personnel. The business says. Is there a particular our? I'm dreadfully fashion when it comes to social media, I keep getting told off. I do it. Yeah, just yeah, carrier, pigeon or Morse Code. So just. Let me, go on. I, think no, I, tell you what? They use it, but you do use. Do Yeah. Do use link independent, but. I I I keep in total yourself more accessible. I know many rant and rave on facebook share that. All linked through to that on the show notes for this as well, but also link through to to kitchen, but yeah, thanks in the time and Yeah, good luck finding a way through your the votes will meet next in your place, and I don't. Want to keep saying the NSA all the operates in this era of got to know each other really well into Banja. Today from Las Paradise. On I'd say, say now niceties now they're all talking communicating and I just feel pretty big bear on perfect. Nice Independent Party. Right, thanks! Popped linked to Chris's linked in channel in the show notes that humans of hospitality, dot photo. UK, as well as link through to his business, please check them out. And whilst you, their wine on sign up for weekly newsletter from me, it's a simple. Website, I promise not to say you any rubbish. You'll just get any email once a week with an update on the latest guests and any special news or Info. I think it makes sense to share. Okay. Thanks for listening. I will be with a new episode on Saturday morning I. If you could just do me a favor, please pick up the device. You're listening on. Find the. And hit that five star review button. It makes me smile, and that will make you feel good to facts.

Coming up next