Heineken to invest £42 million in UK pubs
The brewer’s new cash injection will create 700 new jobs across the year as part of a plan to upgrade Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars estate.
Investment will focus on high street pubs serving residential neighbourhoods as well as suburban venues, both of which have benefitted from the shift to at-home working over the last two years.
The company’s investment in the refurbishment of Heineken pubs over the Covid-19 pandemic will total £115 million following this cash injection.
A total of 660 pubs – more than a quarter of its Star Pubs & Bars business – will be upgraded as part of the investment, the brewing giant has said.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “People have stayed closer to home over the last two years due to the pandemic and turned to their local for the kind of experience they’d previously have travelled to a city centre, restaurant or bar to find.
“They don’t want to turn back time: they expect better quality including food and speciality drinks – such as cocktails – that are harder to recreate at home.
Mountstevens cited the “cost-of-living squeeze on wallets” as magnifying this trend.
The group will also focus on upgrading outdoor seating areas to mean rising demand for alfresco drinking and dining.
Heineken UK said that 137 venues will receive a makeover costing a minimum of £125,000. A total of 700 new jobs will be created as a result of the investment, the firm has said.
Cash funnelled into London pubs will total £5.6 million, as Heineken focuses on venues up and down the country.
Mountstevens added: “People are looking for a really great experience when they go out – these are challenging times.
“However, we are confident that pubs which adapt to pubgoers’ changing needs will have a bright, long-term future.”