Star Pubs & Bars today said it was launching a buying club to help operators save money after more than half its licensees identified cost inflation as the biggest issue facing their business.
The Heineken-owned chain estimates that the average pub could make savings of £7,500 per year through deals it has struck with key suppliers, including catering equipment provider Nisbets.
The scheme will be launched at the company’s nine annual regional licensee conferences, which are taking place in cities around the country this autumn.
It builds on earlier group purchasing agreements it has made, including a three-year fixed price agreement on coffee machines with supplier UCC.
Star has used its increased buying power – due in part to its development of its 120-strong Just Add Talent managed operator estate – to negotiate preferential commercial terms on a wide range of goods and services for its leased and tenanted licensees.
Unusually in the leased and tenanted sector, Star will receive no financial benefit from the scheme and all savings will be passed onto licensees.
The club provides discounts on big-ticket items used by all licensees and, as well as Nisbets, includes recently-negotiated agreements with suppliers including Biffa, Sky, Initial, A-Cask and PHS Greenleaf.
The company will monitor suppliers’ performance to ensure Star licensees receive excellent service.
For ease of access, the buying club is hosted on Star’s online platform, which is used by licensees when ordering beer.
Steve Dancer, buying director at Star Pubs & Bars, said: “By cutting licensees’ costs, the buying club will increase their profits and make their businesses more sustainable. This is the just start – we’ll be listening to our licensees at our autumn forums and throughout the year. We will be looking to develop the club further in line with their feedback.
“The deals are struck on the back of our JAT estate. They demonstrate once again how this small group of managed operator pubs is providing commercial and competitive advantage to our 2,700 L&T pubs.”