Description: Marston’s PLC is a leading independent brewing and pub retailing business with a rich heritage dating back to 1834. We operate around 1,600 pubs across Britain and brew some of the most well known and respected beers in the UK. Opportunities: We have opportunities available in many areas of the UK, excluding London and East Anglia. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £25,000. Training Provided: Yes.
Corinne and Richard Kingstone: Case Study
The Eagle, Eaglescliffe: After serving abroad for many years in a variety of countries in Europe, the Far East and the Middle East, Corinne and Richard Kingston felt the time had come to set up a regular base for themselves and their two small children.
Both ambitious and resourceful, both keen to be their own bosses, they began to consider the opportunities that were open to them. They liked the idea of running a pub which had been under serious consideration previously as a joint venture with a friend. But although they were all enthusiastic, it was soon obvious that the potential income could not support two families.
Corinne and Richard abandoned that plan but didn’t completely give up the idea of having their own pub. They looked at different ways to achieve this and concluded franchising was the best way forward, given its benefits and advantages: they would have their own business but with the advice, training and support from successful professionals.
They decided to go ahead and now, after much careful thought and planning, they are Marston’s franchisees at The Eagle in Eaglescliffe, Thornaby-on-Tees, just a stone’s throw from where they had both grown up.
Corinne and Richard were very impressed with Marston’s approach to franchising. “We liked the people, who seemed very genuine and open and were realistic about the earnings potential of the pub. It’s important to feel you can trust someone when you’re making a big investment with your own money,” Corinne commented.
Richard added: “We liked the style and standard of the training and also felt very confident about Marston’s willingness to listen to franchisees’ opinions, which made us feel we were really part of a dynamic team.
“Finally, knowing Marston’s is the only pub company with full bfa membership makes us feel secure, as we know they set very high standards and ensure these are maintained by their members.”
While Richard had been away most recently, Corinne was busily making plans and had set up a cosmetics party plan business. “I decided to put my experience as a training instructor to good use and it worked well. I quickly recruited 36 other women. And we were all making reasonable money!,” Corinne explained.
“This gave me confidence about my ability to be my own boss and was extremely useful when we took over the pub and of course the staff who came with the pub. Very quickly we had re-created ourselves into a really effective team.”
Corinne found being part of a franchise has been extremely valuable, especially the help and support she has received from another Marston’s franchisee nearby, Caroline Weatherston at Middlesbrough’s Poverina. “Caroline could not have been more helpful and kinder. She has been a real help, like my own mentor,” Corinne said.
Corinne masterminded moving house and changing the children’s schools while Richard was still away, as well as the initial stages of setting up the pub.
“I think a new venture like this is a bit like learning to drive: the training is great and explains what you have to do but you do need to be actually doing to know what it’s really like. I’ve had fantastic support from my new staff and that’s a very good start,” Corinne says.
Richard and Corinne believe that running a business, especially a pub, means always seeing things from the customer’s point of view. “I frequently go outside and come back in again to try and recreate what a customer sees when they walk in for the first time. If anything is wrong it gets put right immediately!” asserts Corinne.
“It’s very exciting and we’re raring to go,” says Corinne. “We’re both looking forward to the future – and have absolutely no regrets,” she adds.
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
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