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Open for Business

“Hello, good evening and welcome”.
For those of you with long memories or a ravenous appetite for all things host show these words will be instantly familiar. For the youngsters among you they are the opening gambit of celebrated chat show host Sir David Frost. I’ll let you google him rather than bore you you with further distractions.

I thought long and hard about the subject for my first blog. It’s a really busy time for the industry, some of it good news, other areas less so. Should I talk about the finer details of the pubs code? How is the essential root and branch reform to business rates coming along, especially in light of the power brokers of Davos seeking to apply a brake to any digital tax that would open the door to reform and lead to a fairer system…..and oh so many more issues.

Then I stepped back and realised how very rude that would be. I haven’t even introduced myself yet. Nor have I explained what The Licensees Association exists for and what we want to achieve. Blimey what would my mother say! She did her stint behind the bar in the 70’s as evidenced in the picture! Manner’s taketh man Nicholas!

Many things have changed in the licensed trade since the 70’s. Tastes have developed and access to foreign shores has diversified our palates. When I first worked in the industry in the mid 1980s you’d be a brave person to ask for a glass of red wine in a pub, for several reasons! There might be the awkward silence, the concern about how long it had been sat on the side and your choice of one house red, the term was used loosely. House actually meant “only”.

Cash was king…actually cash in the pub was everything, no one paid by card or cheque. Now we are seeing some places go cash-free! Health & safety and compliance was for the birds and the very idea of having more than one gin would elicit howls of laughter.

We’ve seen cask ale almost disappear, then come back with stronger appeal and huge variety (well done CAMRA) and the idea of sophistication move beyond Taboo and lemonade. Food thrives and whilst many food chains have struggled the British people have shown their love for the pub and bar as food sales grow year on year.

“…don’t take our word for it. Drop us a line, put us to the test.”

It’s a different world today, however some things never change. Just as the love of pubs, bars and clubs endures so do the issues these independent business face. Whether it be legislation, local authorities or landlord and supplier issues. There’s always an issue on the horizon for most businesses.

These independent business people work extremely hard and rightly want to dedicate as much of their time to their business ensuring growth and profit. There are never enough hours in the day! That’s where The Licensees Association comes into its own.

Perhaps you are looking to benefit from the very best deals in the marketplace for goods and services, all chosen as leaders in their field and vetted by ourselves, and take advantage of the buying power of all the membership. Or maybe you need advice on rent reviews, legislation or

you want to ensure your voice is heard when lobbying governments. The Licensees Association is your association, we are here to help you and ensure your business fulfils its true potential and allow you to focus on your business whilst we do all the nitty gritty in the background. I hope you will join us, I promise it will be worth your while. I am sure we can more than cover your membership with savings to your business. But don’t just take our work for it, drop us a line, put us to the test.

Nick Griffin