The gastropub operator has secured a site previously owned by Greene King, and is on the lookout for more sites to open within the year

Peach Pubs will open a new site called the White Lion in Radford Semele, a village near Leamington Spa, MD Hamish Stoddart told MCA.

The 20-strong gastropub company will reopen the site in June, following its closure for refurbishment by its previous operator, Greene King. Peach Pubs is on the lookout to open more sites this year.

Sales are up by 15% on 2019, while like-for-likes are up by 12-13%, according to Stoddart.

“The advantage is we’re in premium,” Stoddart said. “Premium is less impacted by the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis.”

Peach has increased menu prices by 3-4% in April in response to the crisis and increased wages to attract talent amid to staffing shortages. Sites have had to constrain bookings due to the shortage of head chefs.

The company has also amped up its sustainability program with the Planet Hero initiative, which assigns an employee to support sustainability efforts at each pub. Peach recently won the prize for the most sustainable pub at the 2022 Publican Awards.

“We have deeply embedded sustainability into what we do every day for many years,” Stoddart said. “It’s not a recent program, although obviously we work on it every month to keep the program alive and keep it moving.”

Peach Pubs menus are now 47% plant-based. The company is cutting down on single-use plastic at their sites and working with suppliers and winemakers to reduce their carbon footprint further down the supply chain.

“We don’t actually tell many people our vanilla ice cream is vegan. It tastes just as good,” Stoddart revealed. “We’re setting out to be early adopters of net zero.”

Peach aims to reach its target of net zero by 2023. Stoddart names Nando’s, the Hawksmoor Group, and Dishoom as brands he looks up to while setting sustainability goals.

“They’re not breaking the brand…they’re remaining authentic, yet they achieve sustainability improvements every year.”

Stoddart discussed the challenges of reaching net zero, in particular the struggle of balancing sustainability credentials with menu prices as well as the costs of individual ingredients.

“We’re trying to examine whether guests are prepared to pay for the cost of net zero.”