Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, has today announced the creation of its new Operator Managed platform – Proper Pubs. 

Consisting of around 20% of the Hawthorn estate, Proper Pubs are wet-led community pubs, focused on providing a great range of drinks at good value prices, with entertainment offerings for the whole community.

Over the last few years, Hawthorn has developed a well-established, successful and scalable Operator-Managed division. This has included a number of successful conversions from the Leased and Tenanted model, in collaboration with Hawthorn’s L&T division, using clear site selection criteria, and supported by a significant CAPEX programme. Proper Pubs is run by Director of Managed Operations, Mark Brooke, who joined Hawthorn last year having previously been responsible for growing Beacon in the Ei Group from 165 pubs to 300 pubs, operating in the wet-led, value-driven market. 

Proper Pubs will support Hawthorn’s new corporate charity partner, Chasing the Stigma, a national mental health charity which works to reduce suicide, eradicate stigma and enable everyone in the country to be able to access clear pathways to mental health care. The Proper Pub operators will have the opportunity to become Ambassadors of Hope, to provide support, if sought, for the pubgoers who may be less likely to speak up about the need for help. 

Proper Pubs are community obsessed and will raise funds for important community initiatives to support the people who work with them, drink with them, and live near them. To start with, all Proper Pubs will raise money to install a defibrillator in the pub for community use, with further initiatives to follow. 

Mark Brooke, said: “You can’t beat a Proper Pub, and this platform will bring our entire division together. The brand builds on the strong foundations of the original Hawthorn Operator Managed model, and applies learnings from Bravo Inns, which we acquired in 2019, and how that business was successfully grown. 

“People are at the heart of everything we do, and we want our Proper Pub Operators to be community heroes who know their regulars and treat them like a true friend. By creating the Proper Pubs brand, we’re giving them the freedom and confidence to support their customers and their local community in whatever way they see fit, and make their pub a place where the whole community feels welcome.”

Hawthorn has placed a huge amount of importance on support for its Operator Managed estate, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic, providing £1.6M worth of support for Operators. In recent a survey, Proper Pubs Operators ranked COVID support at 9.4 out of 10, while scores for likelihood to recommend to other publicans, marketing and advertising, BDM quality, level of optimism, and overall Pub co. rating all outperformed the industry. 

The Proper Pubs CAPEX programme will continue, with investment in refurbishments and renovations across the portfolio, in order to help Operators grow their business and maintain a high standard for the community.

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