A survey conducted by Stockport based Robinsons Brewery has highlighted licensees have been extremely satisfied with rental support, property support and Coronavirus business support from the family-run company.

The 2020 survey, which compiles over 100 responses from Robinsons 230 tenanted licensees, gave the brewery a 92% satisfaction rating overall for tenanted support in the last 12 months across their estate in North Wales and the North West of England.  Robinsons were very quick to support licensees in March with zero rent throughout the first lockdown, and a gradual re-introduction after that.  This approach was highly scored by 95% of their licensees, who were also grateful for suspending all direct debits and freezing repayments of loans and interest charges.

When asked about the most important areas in running their businesses, licensees were complimentary about many areas, but they cited the most important area being Coronavirus advice support, giving the brewery a 95% vote of confidence for what they had received in 2020.  Furthermore, they would recommend the brewery to other licensees looking to run pubs.

David Bremner, Director of Marketing at Robinsons Brewery, commented: “As we seek to emerge from this pandemic positively, we felt it was important to get feedback on our 2020 efforts.  We received some great feedback through the year from our extended family of licensees, so it has been great to put a number to this as we seek to work with our pubs in 2021 and attract the best licensees out there in the future.  Whilst there is still much work to be done to support our pubs through the emergence phase, we now have certainty that our relationships have never been stronger, and this gives us a great starting point.”

What’s more, asked about their preferred communication methods, with email, Business Development Managers and telephone sitting high, Robinsons’ private Facebook group has also been listed on top, which has been a key way to communicate in fluctuating times as noted by Joe Farrell from the Windsor Castle who has recently won the BII Heart of the Community Award: “I’ve been a tenant for 11 years and the brewery has always been supportive, but even more so at this difficult time. They have reacted quickly and shared briefs throughout the day including setting up a Pub Hub via Facebook so that all licensees can talk, make friends and support each other. Help is only a phone call away.”

Asked about how Robinsons could adapt and support its licensees in the coming months and years, participants said: “We have only been in since June officially, but we have been very happy with the guidance and advice given so far and hopefully this will continue!”

Further comments also stated: “The support during COVID has been excellent, particularly in terms of the support with rent. The private Facebook group has been a great support for many tenants. We should ensure it continues in the future, could be an ideal way of learning from each other to help improve each tenancy”, alongside: “Fantastic support, I was already planning to be part of this company and keep my pub for many years to come! Now I can’t see me doing anything else! Fantastic pubs, helpful team feeling and fantastic people who have supported us as best they can! Hats off to everyone at Robinsons, I’m sure I speak for others when we say thank you for your help and support, this will ensure your tenants remain loyal to you.”

The survey has indicated some areas of concern, such as licensee’s optimism being scored as below average for the next 12 months. However, percentages across many business areas have demonstrated as being above average with licensees being exceptionally satisfied with support from Robinsons, who will continue to invest heavily in their pub estate and support their licensees.