Greene King is set to become the first pub operator to have its entire managed house estate accredited by Best Bar None, the Home Office and industry supported scheme that recognises and promotes the highest possible operating standards and provides customers with the reassurance of a well-managed environment in which to socialise.
The operator of 1,600 managed houses, Greene King has worked with Best Bar None to develop the new multi-site operator accreditation model, which both organisations hope will encourage other pub companies to follow suit.
Part of Best Bar None’s central scheme, which allows operators to become accredited even if they are not situated in one of the 54 towns and cities running the scheme through a local partnership, the multi-site operator model sees the operator and the national Best Bar None team working together to accredit all or part of the operator’s estate.
With its strong focus on customer safety and welfare, Best Bar None says the new model has been tailormade to support and promote best practice within venues, while allowing operators like Greene King to have the opportunity to recognise and reward management teams that are seen to be going above and beyond.
Assad Malic, Chief communications and sustainability officer at Greene King said: “We want everyone to be able to socialise safely in our pubs and by working with Best Bar None this national accreditation offers customers that added reassurance. Ensuring our pubs are welcoming and safe for all, our customers and our teams is a responsibility which we take very seriously. We are pleased to lead the way with this and it will be good for the whole industry as it is rolled out further.”
The National Best Bar None Chairman, Lord Smith of Hindhead, Philip Smith commented: “We are delighted to have developed this with Greene King and we are confident that the many benefits of venues becoming accredited across an entire business will be an incentive for other multiple operators to follow suit.
“The scheme has the added benefit of providing pub, club and bar operators with tangible evidence to demonstrate their commitment to, and investment in, customer and staff wellbeing and safety.”
Other benefits of becoming multi-site accredited include: ensuring compliance with the Licensing Act; supporting venue managers to make any required improvements including staff training; encouraging closer examination and monitoring of sites by area managers; and ensuring venues are managed to a consistently high standard across the estate.
In addition to the operational benefits, research shows that customers like the reassurance of knowing a venue is committed to the wellbeing of their customers and staff – 49% of adults are more likely to visit a venue that has measures to improve women’s safety, according to a September 2022 YouGov survey.
For Greene King, full accreditation of all 1,600 managed house venues is on track to be completed by spring next year.
The company has already undergone a full day’s assessment of its Head Office procedures and policies, to establish how responsibly managed (from HQ down to individual employees) each site is and what is being done to actively provide a safe, welcoming environment for both customers and staff.
On-site checks across every one of Greene King’s managed house venues, which will begin in early January, will ensure these procedures and policies are practised “on the ground”.
It will examine a number of criteria: everything from ensuring the required notices, such as Challenge 21/25, are displayed through to how well bar and door staff are trained in identifying and dealing with any issues, including the welfare and safety of all. For example, the process looks at how well staff are trained to identify and support vulnerable people and are ready to assist customers and fellow team members at all times, including helping them to get home safely at the end of the night.
Greene King’s multi-site accreditation forms part of the company’s strong commitment to supporting local communities. For instance, Greene King is actively engaged with its charity partners, Macmillan Cancer Support while its own No One Alone initiative, which it launched in 2019, aims to help combat loneliness.
- Best Bar None is a national award scheme promoting partnership working between the on-licensed trade, the police and local authorities. Through enhanced professionalism and customer safety, the scheme reduces alcohol related crime, anti-social behaviour and health harms in the areas where it operates. Best Bar None is supported by the Home Office, the Scottish Government, the police and other authorities, as well as the on-licensed trade.
- Premises are audited for operational standards, policies and procedures, as well as the education and training of staff, in the process identifying and promoting the best and most innovative practice.
Press release from Best Bar None.
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