Scottish and Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC) has been renamed Star Pubs and Bars.
Owner Heineken said the move was designed to reflect the change in the S&NPC pub business over the last two years, which has seen it integrate into Heineken UK's on-trade operations, purchase its pubs, creating a wholly owned venture with direct control over its estate, and further rationalise its property portfolio to focus on long-term sustainable pubs.
To co-incide with the rebranding, Star Pubs & Bars will offer a new three-year Business Start-up Agreement, created for pubs where operators have the opportunity to significantly increase trade.
Heineken said the agreement would offer low cost entry (starting at £10,000 including a flat £3,000 deposit) and operators will be able to terminate their contract with three months' notice at any time.
In support of this ambition, a First Year Support Package is being launched for pubs requiring additional financial backing to fulfill their potential. The package is designed to assist with cash flow in the first year, giving operators the time to establish themselves and build up trade.
Measures to keep cash in the business are tailored by pub, ranging from payment of business rates and Sky license fees to additional discounts on beer. The agreement also incentivises and rewards success; beer sales exceeding target attract an additional discount and cash bonuses of up to £5,000 will be paid for high scores in mystery visits.
The company is changing its standard agreement from a five- to a rolling three-year term to offer greater flexibility to operators. Terms of 10, 15 and 20 years are being introduced as standard options on its FRI (Fully Repairing and Insuring) agreement and all such agreements can now be assigned after two years.
The new name also marks the start of a 12 month roll-out of new initiatives to help existing and future lessee partners increase profits, reduce overhead costs and decrease time spent in the back office so they can focus on driving their businesses forward. The first of these will include: a comprehensive food support programme providing a range of off the shelf menus backed up with the kitchen investment and training required to make a real success of food; a choice of high quality coffee solutions; on line training so lessee partners do not have to leave their pubs to benefit and a new support focused website for existing lessees.
Chris Moore continues to lead the renamed business. Moore, trading director, Star Pubs & Bars, said: "Our new Star Pubs & Bars identity is not just a name change. It is intended to reflect the many developments behind it that make a real difference to people's businesses; both in terms of attracting new talent into the industry at a time when business confidence is low and bank lending tight and making it easier for all our lessee partners to build their businesses by creating further ways of increasing profits and reducing costs.
"Integrating with our wider on-trade business has been key to the transformation of the company providing the reassurance of stable ownership by a brewer that has unrivalled market knowledge and expertise and is committed to the long term success of the British pub. Despite the economic downturn, integration has enabled us to continue to invest in our estate, critical to ensuring that Star Pubs & Bars pubs continue to have the highest average sales turnovers of any national leased pub estate in the UK."