Lincolnshire-based pub operator and brewer Batemans has unveiled a new tenancy agreement that offers licensees free-trade prices on all drinks, writes Gurjit Degun. The company said that the Better Buy Agreement will help save tenants between £4,000 and £6,000 because the company will not rentalise all of the discounts. It anticipates 15 pubs will take up the agreement this year, and if the tenant is unhappy with the lease, they can revert to their previous one at any time. All tenants have also been offered free-trade prices on post-mix drinks. That discount will be rentalised but Batemans believes that lessees will save up to £1,500. The 62-strong company has also frozen any increase in retail price index-linked rents for this year. Batemans managing director Stuart Bateman said that the firm is looking to attract tenants for long periods as pub changeovers can cost the company from £7,000 to £12,000. He said there will also be savings through extra promotional support, rent concessions and additional discounts, and a reduction in debt. “Rather than bearing all these extra costs when tenants get into difficulty, it is best to have an agreement which reduces the chance of them getting into problems in the first place by giving them a better deal,” said Bateman. He added: “I don’t think there is any issue with the tie, but I think we need more transparency in pricing and that is what we are doing here.”

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