Greene King revealed today that it will extend its brand conversion programme by an extra year as part of an integration programme that could eventually cost it up to £120m.
The company is currently in the midst of one of the biggest brand conversion exercises the industry has ever seen following its acquisition of Spirit Pub Company in 2015.
This year it has already completed 50 brand conversions as it starts to reduce the number of brands and formats it operates. The majority of the brand conversions were Fayre & Square to Hungry Horse and, overall, have delivered an impressive sales uplift of more than 30% to date.
Greene King said it has now decided to extend the brand conversion programme from three years to four years to allow it to maintain a degree of flexibility over the project as it continuously assesses the changing external environment.
It expects to invest a total of £35m to £40m in around 70 brand conversions during the current financial year and its expectations are to invest a further £90m to £120m in the next three years across 210 to 240 pubs.
Greene King says it is using a ‘best of both’ approach to the integration, focusing on optimising the combined systems, brands and teams. It expects to deliver £30m in savings by the year end and £35m by the end of its 2018 financial year.
Decisions about Greene King’s kitchen and catering offering are already being taken by a single department following the Spirit acquisition.
The food development team is led by Kevin Harper, who manages a team of food development and product innovation managers, predominantly based at its development kitchen in Burton.
He said earlier this year: “Since we acquired Spirit in June 2015, the business has been working through a period of integration, with an aim of bringing together the best ways of working from both companies and the food development team is no exception.
“After having two teams – the Greene King and ex-Spirit teams – successfully sharing ideas and knowledge through the development of our spring/summer menus we now have one completely combined unit as we start to look forward to developing the Christmas and autumn/winter menus.”