Brunning & Price, The Restaurant Group (TRG)-owned pub operator, is looking to ramp up its expansion plans in 2016, when it hopes to add a further 10 sites to its 55-strong portfolio.
The group, which has retained Christie + Co to search for appropriate sites, already has four sites in the pipeline.
Speaking to M&C last month TRG chief executive Danny Breithaupt that pubs were becoming an increasingly important part of its business and that it had beefed up the site finding and operational teams across Brunning & Price, including introducing north and south operations directors.
Breithaupt said: “We felt that if we are going to increase the roll out potential of pubs, and we are going to do that, then we need to make sure that the infrastructure is right. We are not a business that just does things and hopes for the best, we put the infrastructure in first. We will open three or four new pubs this year, but next year we already know that we will be looking at five to six openings and eight to nine the year after.
“The pubs are becoming an increasingly important part of our business and we continue to see strong trading coming through from them. We’ve never seen a shortage of supply on the pub side. What we are about is finding very unique, interesting pubs in locations we feel that people will want to drive to. There is a good supply of quality pubs that fit that criteria out there.”
Over the past two years Brunning & Price has acquired 11 new sites with Christie + Co assistance.
Most recently they have acquired another three sites including The Wobbly Wheel, near Banbury, The Jolly Farmers, Betchworth and The Fox Revived, Horley.
The company is to re-open the former Wobbly Wheel near Banbury as the Falcon this winter.
M&C also understands that the group will re-open the Jolly Farmers near Reigate, one of two pubs it acquired from the 3D Pub Company, as the Pheasant at Buckland this winter.
The Jolly Farmers and sister site the Fox Revived near Horley are both currently closed after their acquisition by TRG earlier this summer.
Brunning & Price is looking for locations between Lancashire and Kent in rural, semi rural or urban sites within plots of at least 1.25 acres with the ability to create a bar restaurant venue seating at least 120 people.
Simon Chaplin, director, Corporate Pubs & Restaurants, Christie + Co, said: “As Brunning & Price continue with expansion outside of its current core area of the North West and the South East, we are looking for suitable buildings and sites throughout the West Midlands and around locations such as Milton Keynes, York, Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford and Cheltenham as well as along the M4 to bring their individual style and quality to a wider audience.”