Greene King has nearly doubled the estate size of its Old English Inns brand by clubbing together its character-full pubs within the estate with coaching inns, writes Paul Charity. It is now made-up of 56 hotels and 45 stand-alone pubs.Its tagline is a “heritage collection of Britain’s most characteful hostelries”. The one brand would cover both pubs and hotels because they had a similar customer base. The new brand template had been rigorously tested at the Fox & Hounds, in Wimborne, Dorset. Eight sites had been developed in the current financial year and they are producing an ebitda return on investment of 57.2%. A further 23 sites would be developed in the next financial year at a cost of £5.1m. The Old English Inns brand would see an upgraded food and drink offer. There would be a “value and quality” food offer with two main menu items available in a “two for £9.95 deal”. There will also be enhanced sevice with customers only needing to visit the bar once and food innovation with a bi-annual chef competition that will see the winning dish moving on to the menu. Old English Inns will also have a high quality drinks range with gin and whisky focus, a strong wine list and a focus on cask ale excellence. Customers will be offered a “unique accommodation proposition” with a three star accommodation in a heritage inn, pub, breakfast and parking all for £50. There is also a recession-busting wedding offer with average bookings costing just over £2,500.