Chiswick-based pub firm and brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner aims to take the number of bedrooms in its pub estate to 1,000 within two years, one of its directors has revealed.
The news comes shortly after Fuller’s announced that it was acquiring the six-strong Bel & The Dragon group of pubs with rooms, in a deal expected to completed next month.
The acquisition takes the number of bedrooms across the Fuller’s estate to 781, up from about 200 about a decade ago.
Fuller’s Inns managing director Jonathon Swaine told The Caterer that around 15% of Fuller’s managed pubs now have bedrooms, with consumer demand for the offer continuing to grow.
“We have been able to respond to a consumer need. People are more willing to seek out something different and that is where the pub comes in. People’s lifestyles have changed a bit and they are more prepared to spend parts of their leisure time in different parts of the UK,” he said.
“The target that I have within my team is 1,000 bedrooms in the next two years. There’s a mixture of opportunities in our existing business and hopefully we can acquire one or two more properties.”
Swaine said Fuller’s has been trying to prioritise long-term investment in rooms wherever possible.
“Generally we get good returns, customers like them, and it is a third arm to the business which gives us a bit of an edge in the marketplace. We find the participation of guests who come downstairs and have a drink at the bar and a bite to eat is generally very good – north of 50%.”
Bel & The Dragon, which has pubs in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey with a total of 57 bedrooms, was sold to Fuller’s by Longshot, headed up by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors.
Longshot is the owner of Beaverbrook, the luxury country house hotel and exclusive golf club which opened in Leatherhead, Surrey, last year following a £90m renovation.