Midlands-based brewer and pub operator Charles Wells is hoping to freshen up its estate by recruiting licensees from outside the hospitality industry and encouraging more chefs to take on their first business.
Paul Wells, chairman of Charles Wells, told Caterer that the smoking ban had acted as a catalyst for recruiting people from outside the industry into a more attractive working environment. "We're certainly beginning to see people who have been recruited now who wouldn't have come before," he said.
"People have come to us from Tesco, for example, showing that the Charles Wells pub is quite an interesting proposition."
Charles Wells has begun targeting pan-industry recruitment fairs and advertising in local newspapers and on radio for licensees. It's also investigating online recruitment methods.
The company is also embarking on a programme targeting chefs throughout the industry looking to make the leap from employee to business operator. It has invested ￡50,000 in training potential licensees how to sell food in pubs.
Peter Wells, pub company sales and marketing director, said: "The area I'm really interested in is developing the whole chef market and getting those guys into running pubs. The biggest cost of running a pub is in the kitchen and they will be at a real advantage there. It's the perfect first business for a lot of people who've reached a certain level."
By Christopher Walton
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