The Caterer

Inside track

03 June 2004
Inside track

What business is it in? Yates's is a bar operator. Go to the group website at

What brands does it operate? 21st Century Yates's bars (formerly Yates's Wine Lodges) and Ha!Ha! Bar & Canteen.

What's its form?
Turnover of £152.8m; pre-exceptional pre-tax profit of £10m (for the year ending June 2003).

Where is its head office and area of operation? Group headquarters are in Bolton, Lancashire. The first Yates's Wine Lodge was opened in 1884 by Peter Yates in Oldham. Today it operates nationally with 129 Yates's bars and 23 Ha!Ha! Bar & Canteens. It opened its 100th bar in London's Clapham Junction in 1998.

What sort of employer is it? The company has 4,500 employees and introduced a policy last year of paying staff more than the minimum wage (unsurprisingly, this has reduced staff turnover significantly). Yates provides staff with structured, tailored training plans to help them advance their careers if they so wish. The recruitment number is 01204 377836 or e-mail

How does the future look? The company has refurbished its Yates's brand - experiencing a corresponding sales lift - and plans to continue expanding its successful Ha!Ha! format across the UK.

Did you know? The company has an Atkins menu, including Yates's Atkins Burger, a chargrilled chicken breast between two beef burgers. It was also one of the first companies to start importing Australia wine, just after the Second World War.

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