Chris and Rosie have decided to leave the Stephan Langton after three years at the property. Chris spoke to Caterer before the couple left to explain their reasons.
"We feel we've done very well here but over the summer months we were negotiating with the landlord about the future contract," he said. "It wasn't so much about the rent, although that was part of it, but we were looking for more value and after our time here, and having done all the right things, we felt it was appropriate to see if we could work together to develop the business further."
Unfortunately the landlord didn't see it their way and didn't want to invest in the business, despite the Stephan Langton being an old building in need of some work. Chris explained: "Being on a short-term tenancy you don't want to put too much of your own money into the fabric of the building and we did see potential for growth. But the landlord just wasn't interested in further investment."
The couple estimate they could have continued on for another three or so years, but apart from room for a bit of development they felt they would have been treading water, so it wouldn't be worth the effort. "We want to be part of a business that is bigger and has more room for growth."
At one point Rosie asked the landlord if he could give us any reason to stay," says Chris. "When he just shrugged his shoulders, we knew that was it."
As for the future, Rosie and Chris don't plan on getting involved with another pub just now, as they're looking at another project more on the retail side of catering. As yet plans are still being finalised. "We're at the early stages of planning a restaurant/café type thing and will spend December and January planning with a view to being up and running in about five months or so," Chris says.
Their tenancy at the Stephan Langton ended on 16 November.