Star Pubs & Bars has seen a 17% increase in applications for its pubs in the first six months of 2016.
The company said this made it the busiest half year ever for applications, with interest in taking on a Star pub at a three-year high in June.
Experienced pub operators accounted for 40% of applicants while those with wider hospitality experience accounted for 17%. The exact number of applications was not disclosed.
To encourage applicants from outside the pub industry, Star said it was increasing the level of one-to-one support at the start of the application process. The extra support aims to help those without licensing experience understand what is involved in running a pub prior to putting together detailed business plans for their interviews.
Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens (pictured) said: "We are seeing strong applicants coming forward, often with hospitality experience or a business management background. It is important as an industry we continue to look at ways to attract and support these prospective licensees as they have the skills needed and bring fresh ideas and energy to the industry."
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