Today saw the unveiling of Pubs' recession struggles revealed in Publican Market Report, a much awaited piece of useless written garbage by some within the industry. This is the report that would tell us the results of the last two years trading withion the industry. let's go for it!
Perfect opener "The true extent of the desperate difficulties pubs are facing to stay in business are revealed in this year’s Publican Market Report." (I'm impressed!)
"As recession grips the country, licensees up and down the land are finding it harder and harder to make a profit. Latest figures show that more than 50 pubs are closing a week and, of those that remain open, profits are either down or down a lot at 57 per cent. "
"Those struggling the most appear to be lessees and tenants with two out of three (65 per cent) saying trade is down. "
from there on in the report fails as miserably as any sane person would expect it to!
For God's sake, just how pathetic is this 'voice' of the trade. Recession? What came before the bloody recession-let me see! Oh yes, of course, the small matter of the SMOKING BAN.
Remember it? July 1st, 2007. The day that clean air pubs attracted millions of new non smoking and non drinking customers. Something tells me that they are still waiting for both sets of imbibers to launch themselves at our rapidly diminishing stockpile of boozers!
According to one:- "To help combat the effects of the recession, pubs have been forced to drop training and cut staff hours." Hang on a minute, aren't rules and regulations getting ever tighter as licensing laws are now firmly clamped around the throats of licensees. How can they possibly cut corners with such demands in place? How can they possibly admit to providing 'possibly undertrained staff'? But staff hours, well that's normal practice, except it means the licensee ends up working 100 hours per week for possibly less than the minimal wage!
Quote:- CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner said he was “not surprised” by the level of support for minimum price structures. What a wussy! Anything but the truth to rely upon.
Throughout the whole of the report presented byThe Publican there is not one mention of the starting point and main exponent of this hospitality sector disaster-the SMOKING BAN.
It is unbelievable that a journal that purports to support its legions within the industry either can't see the damage caused by the smokeban or simply doesn't want to recognise the obvious because advertising fees might suddenly diminish due to slating the Pubco's for not fighting the ban. (Hang on-they had a hand in it!)
Meanwhile they are quite happy to spout utter tripe about beer ties, pubco models, beer taxes etc but steadfastly refuse to print the truth. That the two main pubco players backed the wrong horse seems immaterial. Choice was not wanted for the simple reason that "some non smoking pubs may be forced to close".
Well upon my soul, now that they are all non smoking, more than 4,000 have gone to another dimension. Why the Publican are still supporting Thorley/Tuppen on the road to Damascus-sorry-Disaster, I'm buggered if I know. If they had the balls to admit they were wrong this ban would be amended within months. Neither of these Pubco genius's could sell every single pub and hope to come out with a profit-such is the dismal state of their empires! Shareholders who believed all the government hype pre-ban are loathe to admit they are still shareholders. Truth is such an expensive dream at the moment-and it will only get more expensive!
Meanwhile all the poor people that have their life savings/investments tied up with these pubco's must be quaking in their boots at the start of each day.....is a customer even liable to walk through the door?
If my local pub is anything to go by, 75% of pubs might as well set up a bar in the smoking shelter after 8pm! Yet should the 'PC' brigade ever gain the bollox to admit the smokeban is the true killer of the industry, should the media ever have the bollox to admit the smokeban is the creator of all problems pub and stop pandering to government 'quango's (ASH et al) we might find the hard up, struggling and fearful of the future licensees thrown a lifeline-an amended ban where CHOICE reigns supreme.
Let non smokers have their own pubs or parts of a pub. Let licensees decide for themselves whether they want smoking pubs or non smoking pubs-I'll have a wager on the percentage outcome!
In a country that is supposedly democratic (I'd almost forgotten the word-thanks dictionary!) we have become surprisingly adept at being undemocratic. We pander to the asswipes at ASH who are driven by hatred of that which they don't agree with and watch this country slip further into the financial mire thanks to the £50m spent on the most ludicrous crusade ever. People still die-when your numbers up? sorry folks.....your numbers up!
Smoking is a freedom of choice. Pubs should have the same freedom of choice. Licensees should always have had freedom of choice. Drinkers should have freedom of choice-that is democracy funnily enough!
So next time we wait with bated breath for The Publicans Market Report-don't bother!