Heineken has announced plans to create more than 700 jobs across the UK as part of a £42million investment plan in its pub operation.
The brewing giant said 660 pubs – more than a quarter of its Star Pubs & Bars venue business – will be upgraded as part of the move. It comes as the UK hospitality industry aims for a strong period of recovery in 2022 after two years hampered by pandemic regulations.
Heineken UK has said 137 of its pubs will undergo a makeover costing at least £125,000 as it continues to refresh its building stock. The company said the latest cash injection will bring the total investment in refurbishing its pubs to £115m since the first hit of the pandemic.
The investment will focus on suburban pubs and those on high streets near residential areas which have benefited from an increase in working from home, the company added. Renovations will include kitchen refits and new bars at a number of venues.
The group is also focusing on improving outdoor seating areas in some of its pubs amid continued increases in demand for outdoor dining and drinking.
Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “People have stayed closer to home over the past two years due to the pandemic and have turned to their locals for the type of experience that they would have previously traveled to a city center, restaurant or bar to find.
“They don’t want to go back in time: they expect better quality, including specialty foods and drinks – like cocktails – that are harder to recreate at home. Compression of the cost of living on portfolios amplifies these trends.
“People are looking for a really great experience when they go out – these are tough times. However, we believe pubs that adapt to the changing needs of pubers will have a bright long-term future.
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