Star spend aims to help pubs shine

Pubco on-track to invest £3m in Scottish estate this year

Star Pubs & Bars is ramping up investment in its Scottish pubs in a bid to help its lessees prosper.

The Heineken-owned pubco is backing a raft of improvements – from new pub decor or a fresh food offer to the introduction of wi-fi or entertainment – across 15 of its 109 Scottish outlets as part of its 2015 capex programme.

The pubs firm said it is on-track to invest £3 million upgrading its Scottish outlets by the end of the year, with an average outlay of £200,000 per pub.


The Scottish spend – part of a £30 million investment by the pubco across its UK estate – is said to represent a 76% increase on last year’s investment north of the

It includes a number of major refurbishments, such as The Jolly Botanist in Edinburgh (pictured right), which opened in February of this year, as well as improvements to pubs’ food offers in a bid to reach Star Pubs & Bars’ goal of food accounting for 50% of sales in its pubs by 2020.

Star Pubs & Bars said each investment is designed to help attract new customers for different occasions throughout the day; from breakfast through to dinner, for coffee and wi-fi, or for events and entertainment, including live sport.

Chris Jowsey, trading director at Star Pubs & Bars, said the investment programme “demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to the leased pub sector”.

“This investment is a reflection of the continued confidence we have in our Scottish pubs and our operators,” he said.

“It’s critical to attract people back to the pub and ensure their long-term sustainability.

“Our lessees are seeing significant returns on investment from our capex projects and the communities they serve are benefitting too.

“It’s one of the many benefits of our model and we look forward to making this positive case to the Scottish Government as they review the operation of the pub market in Scotland.”

The pubco has also equipped its business development managers (BDMs) with mobile technology which will enable them to view pubs’ games machine data.

Star Pubs & Bars said giving BDMs mobile access to machine income and performance means they can provide lessees with a “complete picture” of each machine’s revenue and “identify issues and opportunities to grow machine income”.

“Machines are a vital income stream for many lessees,” said Jowsey.

“We are committed to being at the forefront of innovations in the sector so we are as strategic as possible in the advice we provide and can maximise machines take for our lessees.”