Punch develops branded pubs from Allied estate

Pub company Punch Retail has embarked on a nationwide branding programme in an attempt to breathe new life into its 1,000-strong managed pubs estate.

The company has completed a three-month review of the largely unbranded estate it acquired from Allied Domecq last October, and has earmarked a number of trial brands for national roll-out through concept development division Devco.

They are mainly food-based community concepts, and include Bar Room Bar, which offers minimalist design and fresh-baked pizza; Beerhouse – a modern urban pub concept; and Copper Bowl, which serves curry alongside conventional pub food.

Punch is also believed to be developing a student pub concept and low-cost town centre idea.

But the company has stressed it will only introduce brands where appropriate – and not at any cost.

Chief executive Karen Jones says: “Rather than adopt the overt, mass-branding route, our approach is to treat each pub as an individual outlet and do what is right for the pub in its location.”

The Big Steak brand will also be overhauled, with the introduction of a permanent two-meals-for-the-price-of-one offer at some outlets and a more extensive food concept, called Big Steak Kitchen.

A number of outlets in the 220-strong Mr Q’s chain will be renamed Q’s and provided with access to a dedicated video jukebox channel with ads tailored to in-pub promotions.

Privately-owned parent company Punch Taverns is planning a &£1.5bn bond issue, secured against the Allied Domecq estate.

Former Allied Domecq Inns commercial director Francis Patton has been appointed commercial director of Punch’s tenanted estate, The Punch Pub Company.

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