UK’s biggest pub chain admits it’s time to “align more closely” with peers

Greene King chef

The UK’s largest pub retailer, Greene King, will become a member of the British Hospitality Association, it confirmed yesterday.

The company, which operates more than 3,000 sites in the UK, said its £800m takeover of rival pub group Spirit had played a part in the decision to join the association.

Rooney Anand, CEO of Greene King, said: “Our recent acquisition of Spirit Pub Company signals an opportunity to align more closely with our peers in the wider hospitality industry to provide a strong voice to government. We are committed to raising the visibility of the industry as it continues to drive the UK economy and deliver strong new job creation.”

Greene King has begun its membership by pledging to be a “keen supporter” of the BHA’s long-running campaign to inspire the next generation of young people into a career in hospitality and the company will participate in the BHA’s Big Hospitality Conversation events across the UK during 2016.

Anand continued: “With 42,000 team members at Greene King, including over 2,000 apprentices, our business priority is to attract, retain and develop the very best people. That is why we have decided to join the BHA, which has done so much to encourage more talent into hospitality and tourism.”

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said Greene King’s position as one of the giants of the hospitality sector would be an asset to the group.

“With employment issues currently taking centre stage, we are lobbying to help alleviate the huge impact of the National Living Wage on this industry and for the introduction of an Apprenticeship Training Academy to support SMEs and longer apprenticeship periods to allow for seasonality,” she said. “Greene King will provide valuable perspective and leadership for the pub and brewing industry on these issues and many more.”

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