Spirit Group on hunt for 20 new sites by 2015 H2

Pub Operator Spirit Group has announced that it is planning to find 20 new sites over the next 15 months.

The firm, whose brands include Flaming Grill, Taylor Walker and Fayre and Square, is looking for spots that boast internal areas of up to 6,000 sq ft. In particular, the Flaming Grill spots will ideally need 30 car parking spaces, while the Fayre and Square venues will need to be on the roadside, close to other leisure, retail and business properties. The Taylor Walker sites, meanwhile, will resemble more traditional city-centre pubs, with a target customer base of office and shopping lunchtime trading. It is hoped that these new opportunities will also generate a wide array of hospitality jobs.

Spirit has already taken on property agents Jenics and PH Land and Developments to find suitable locations. Jenics director Neil Bowler said: “These brands all have a strong presence in the market and offer great value for money."

Mr Bowler referred to Spirit's announcement of having made pre-tax profits of six per cent last week, which is very impressive in this tough trading climate. He added: "These expansion plans are reflective of the strength of the mainstream pub food sector, where there is a market for the right product.”

Spirit Group's current portfolio consists of 1,300 leased and managed pubs. The announcement comes just a few months after a number of Spirit pubs revealed that they were trialling a new food offer. According to the Morning Advertiser, Spirit managing director Chris Whelman stated that products from managed brands, such as Chef & Brewer and John Barras, can be added to pub menus, and 48 Spirit venues have already taken on the offer. 

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.