Hawthorn, the pub operator behind 700 locations, has announced a raft or reopening measures to ensure sites are ready to go on 12 April.
To enable as many of its leased and tenanted pubs as possible to reopen next month, Hawthorn will continue with current rent levels through to the end of May, with further reductions continuing throughout June and July.
Support grants will continue to be available post-August for any pubs requiring extra assistance.
Under the new proposals, rent will be capped at around 30% until the end of May, before increasing to 50% in June and 75% in July before returning to 100% in August in-line with the expected gradual increase in trade.
Further measures being introduced to support Partners include cashback incentives on all purchases, enhanced credit terms and step-by-step re-opening guides, as well as point of sale provided to all pubs to enable to them to safely welcome back their customers.
Hawthorn is also providing additional packages of support for its operator managed pubs, with around £550,000 worth of support to be paid to operators at both trading and non-trading pubs, with funds covering labour costs, and being invested in outside areas to increase capacities.
Since March 2020, Hawthorn has provided more than £8m of support for its partners and operators, measures which helped partner retention and ensured its pubs could bounce back quickly coming out of the first national lockdown.
As a result of the extensive support being offered this time around, the community pub company predicts that more than 300 – or around 60% – of its pubs in England will be open for trading on 12 April.
Of Hawthorn’s L&T pubs set to reopen on 12 April, more than 30% have been beneficiaries of its Pub Partner Investment Fund (PPIF), introduced last year, which sees the company match every £1 its partners invest in outdoor space or increasing trading capacity, up to £10,000.
To date, together Hawthorn and its Partners have invested over £500,000 in 110 schemes to add lighting, heating, and covers, and support Covid compliance in pubs across the estate.
In addition, Hawthorn has continued to invest in its estate throughout the pandemic through its CAPEX programme, with more than £10m spent in the past 12 months, and projects being brought forward during the latest lockdown.
CEO Mark Davies (main image) said: “It is incredibly important to me and everyone at Hawthorn that we support our partners and operators to get back to full strength as quickly as possible. Our business is only successful if our Partners’ businesses are successful, and we hope this package of measures will help our pubs to bounce back stronger and more quickly.”