Hawthorn Announces Latest Pub Partner Support Initiatives & Teams Up With Vianet

Hawthorn, The Community Pub Company, has revealed its latest package of support for Pub Partners and Operators ahead of the reopening of pubs in England on 12th April, and Scotland on the 26th. The new measures set out Hawthorn’s rent policy through until August 2021, support for its Operator Managed estate, and deals and incentives to help Partners get up and running and return to profitability as quickly as possible.

To enable as many of its Leased & Tenanted pubs as possible to reopen next month, Hawthorn will continue with current rent levels through to the end of May, with further reductions continuing throughout June and July, with Support Grants continuing to be available post-August for any pubs requiring extra assistance.

Under the new proposals, rent will be capped at around 30% until the end of May, before increasing to 50% in June and 75% in July before returning to 100% in August in-line with the expected gradual increase in trade.

Further measures being introduced to support Partners include cashback incentives on all purchases, enhanced credit terms and step-by-step re-opening guides, as well as Point of Sale provided to all pubs to enable to them to safely welcome back their Customers.

Hawthorn is also providing additional packages of support for its Operator Managed pubs, with around £550,000 worth of support to be paid to Operators at both trading and non-trading pubs, with funds covering labour costs, and being invested in outside areas to increase capacities.

Since March 2020, Hawthorn has provided more than £8m of support for its Partners and Operators, measures which helped Partner retention and ensured its pubs could bounce back quickly coming out of the first national lockdown, when its portfolio of community and suburban pubs outperformed the market in the 3-month period from July 4th 2020. As a result of the extensive support being offered this time around, the community pub company predicts that more than 300 – or around 60% – of its pubs in England will be open for trading on 12th April. A similar proportion of the Scottish estate is expected to trade on 26th April, while the company is awaiting further information about the roadmap for reopening in Wales.

Of Hawthorn’s L&T pubs set to reopen on 12th April, more than 30% have been beneficiaries of its Pub Partner Investment Fund (PPIF), introduced last year, where Hawthorn matches every £1 its Partners invest in outdoor space or increasing trading capacity, up to £10,000. To date, together Hawthorn and its Partners have invested over £500,000 in 110 schemes to add lighting, heating, and covers, and support Covid compliance in pubs across the estate.

In addition, Hawthorn has continued to invest in its estate throughout the pandemic through its CAPEX programme, with over £10 million spent in the past twelve months, and projects being brought forward during the latest lockdown. A large portion of this investment has gone into improving beer gardens and making as many of Hawthorns’ pubs as possible the best places for customers to enjoy a beer in long-awaited company.

Hawthorn’s ongoing support for its Pub Partners has been met with positive feedback. During the first lockdown, 97% of Partners & Operators said that Hawthorn met or exceeded expectations, and KAM Media’s recent Licensee Index saw Hawthorn outperform its peers across a wide range of categories, including COVID-19 support (9.2/10), quality of BDM (8.8), and likelihood to recommend the company to other publicans (8.3).

Mark Davies

Hawthorn CEO, Mark Davies, said: “It is incredibly important to me and everyone at Hawthorn that we support our Partners and Operators to get back to full strength as quickly as possible. Our business is only successful if our Partners’ businesses are successful, and we hope this package of measures will help our pubs to bounce back stronger and more quickly. In the KAM Media Licensee Index, we improved across 49 out of 51 measures, which is testament to the team’s effort and focus over the past year.”


Hawthorn Teams Up With Vianet To Gain Estate-Wide Insight

Hawthorn, the community pub company, has signed a new partnership with intuitive data insight specialists, Vianet, following a successful trial of its iDraught platform. The £350,000 investment will see iDraught rolled out across Hawthorn’s Leased and Tenanted estate, and will help Hawthorn identify key areas for attention and development through estate-wide coverage, as well as providing its Partners with retail support as pubs begin to reopen.

Vianet’s iDraught system enables pub companies to intelligently monitor all aspects of their bars to ensure the very best in returns. The platform works to maximise profits in the draught beer category, and has proven capability in delivering end-to-end solutions for its customers with over 13,500 pubs connected and 220,000 unique points of capture.

With Vianet’s 20-years of experience spanning across more than 300 on-trade partners, the iDraught tech will benefit Hawthorn’s Pub Partners by capturing data through tap-to-till reconciliation to monitor shrinkage and minimise loss, planning and management to significantly improve margins, and monitoring line-cleaning and delivery to provide them with the best pint possible and remove waste. Partners will also benefit from a dedicated account team and support from a cellar management trained ABCQ (Award in Beer & Cellar Quality) team.

Andrew Parker

Andrew Parker, Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations at Hawthorn, said: “Working to successfully re-open our Leased and Tenanted businesses following the 15-week lockdown, we have found the Vianet information incredibly insightful. The new iDraught technology has really opened our, and our Partners’, eyes to using this data in a more forward-thinking manner for the future, and we’re looking forward to making the most of our partnership once our pubs are back up and running.”

Scott West, Client Director at Vianet, said: “We have worked with Hawthorn for a number of years and couldn’t be happier with their feedback. Their trial of the iDraught solution has opened up the entire Hawthorn Leased and Tenanted estate to the very best in data collection and, as a result, maximised profits in the draught beer category.”

Trevor Jenkinson, Hawthorn Pub Partner at The Needles, Derby, said: “During the trial, I used iDraught on a daily basis to check my sales by product against the previous year, and to order in my following week’s stock as I can just replace what we have sold.

“I am now also 100% confident in my line cleaning as the system identifies that the correct amount of solution has been used to enable a maximum clean. I can give the stock taker the actual pints lost figure as it measures these exactly.”

This new partnership is one of many ways Hawthorn has worked to support its Partners through lockdown. The community pub company has already pledged £9.4million in CAPEX spend in Q3 investments in order to prepare its pubs for a post-Covid environment, as well as committing £250,000 in matched investments through its Pub Partner Investment Fund, launched in October last year, to help improve outdoor spaces across 100 of its sites.

Hawthorn’s ongoing support has been met with positive feedback from Partners. During the first lockdown, 97% of Partners & Operators said the PubCo had met or exceeded expectations, and KAM Media’s recent Licensee Index saw Hawthorn outperform its peers across a wide range of categories, including COVID-19 support (9.2/10), quality of BDM (8.8), and likelihood to recommend the company to other publicans (8.3).


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