Star Pubs and Bars commits £6m for outdoor renovations to boost covers
Star Pubs and Bars has committed to investing £6m in improving the exteriors of its outlets in a move it predicts could boost food and drink sales at individual locations by as much as £50,000 per year.
The Heineken pub business has earmarked 60% of the funds to redecoration, lighting, signage and cladding to revamp "less attractive buildings".
The investment is double that of its 2017 funding, and will be funnelled into 260 pubs in total.
Money will also be used to relocate side entrances, add structures like pergolas and develop outdoor areas at 120 locations.
In a trial of its focus on exterior investment, the firm found a £500,000 refurbishment of the Dolphin in Newbury, which involved building a 90-cover garden, increased the venue's total covers by 75% and added between £7,000 and £8,000 a week in sales.
Star Pubs & Bars property director Chris Moore said: "This expenditure is an essential part of our 2018 £44m investment programme.
"A pub's external appearance is vital to its success; our research shows it sends all sorts of signals to passersby on what they'll find inside.
"A great outdoor space is no longer a nice to have. Customers now expect a fantastic environment outside as well as inside, and licensees see outside areas as an essential part of any refurbishment and a vital income stream.
"Our own calculations suggest a properly designed garden can increase drink and food sales by as much as £50,000 a year."
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