View Full Version : Northern Beer Blog - Pubpaper 714 – Ted Tuppen – The Third Coming

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20-06-2013, 09:24
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Ted Tuppen, the Chairman of Enterprise Inns, is making his lookalike Al Bundy from Married with Children look like a model of stability with his recent rantings regarding the Statutory Code for Pub Companies. **His latest address to the Tenanted Pub Company Summit is no different.
He gives himself the deluded self imposed title “The Dark Lord” in the speech, a somewhat inflated view of his importance, but at least we get to tick off Star Wars on the cultural reference bingo card which this speech is sent with.
He talks about regarding the pre recession period for the company stating “Enterprise did very well for the first twelve years following our flotation in 1995. Property prices were going up by about 6% a year and we had a lot of property. Interest rates were low and the banks were happy to lend”. *It is quite clear how they racked up a debt which still stands at £300 million today (which at its peak was over £1 billion), if this Mr Men world of business financing was actually viable, the recession would not have happened and thousands of pub tenants across the UK would not be in nearly as much financial strife.
Then he goes a bit Middle Earth on us when talking about the Early Day Motion by the Liberal Democrats blaming pub companies for the closure of pubs in 2008. *His exact quote leading into this section is “You know that bit in Lord of the Rings when everything seems to be going pretty well and then Gollum appears – you can’t quite put your finger on it but you know Gollum’s going to turn out to be a bit dodgy”. *I’m not the worlds biggest Liberal Democrat supporter, but any political party member who supports and publicises the problems which tied pubs are facing gets my support, regardless of party allegiances.
Next on our tour of literary references through the ages is this gem from the era of Charles Dickens “It must be like being a 7-foot-tall bully in a Victorian primary school where your dad is the headmaster”. This is referring to Parliamentary Privilege which allows MPs to make statements in debates or official communications and not be at risk of legal action. Greg Mulholland apparently implied in an email “Tuppen regarded all MPs looking at the pub issue as morons”. *He may not have directly stated this, but his general attitude and press releases on the matter certainly don’t do anything to dispel this accusation.
He accuses the consultation process of being “biased and almost totally lacking in genuine evidence” . *This comes from Enterprise Inns who when submitting information to the enquiry, they did not use actual turnover and profits from their tenants, instead they used “Average Profit Potential”, in other words a forecast. *I’ve worked in the back office of a restaurant chain for 4 years where we had similar forecasts annually and in at least 75% of cases these were not hit. *The mathematics at the top of the business do not reflect the realities on the ground.
In the same paragraph he quotes “it espouses as truth the opinions of a small but obsessive group who have been campaigning against the pub companies for almost a decade. Fair Pint, IPC – they’re all the same people”. *I’m not going to deny there probably is an large overlap of membership, but could this be because people are passionate about their pubs and want to see as many of them to survive and provide a good living to the tenant or owner as possible. *When the pub sector has been hit from all sides as well as from inside by the likes of Enterprise, a sustained campaign has been needed to keep the issue in the spotlight. *Finally if you are going to be obsessive about anything, then the great British pub is a damn good thing to obsess about! *I’m going to take up his offer of “I could keep you entertained for hours with the truth about some of the campaigners” anytime soon however.
He lead his speech with the statement “Firstly, and this may surprise some of you, I fully support free-of-tie. I also support the tie and a wide variety of partially tied options”, he elaborates later with “We do offer free of tie and will be happy to negotiate terms with anyone….but don’t expect the rent to be calculated by some Government imposed formula”. So what he means is that in reality is if you don’t want to buy your beer from Enterprise Inns you won’t be offered a fair rent deal, but one which makes up for the loss of beer income to Enterprise Inn when you buy out.
Whatever you are on Mr Tuppen, have you ever thought of selling it, it might make some of your tenants profitable at last.

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