Comment: Everards evolve their enlightened approach yet further

Well done to Everards of Leicestershire for being named Pub Company of the Year 2017 (20-199 pubs). The independent family-run company received their award at the Publican Awards on March 14 in London.

We know Everards well here at Great Food Club. They are big supporters of local food and drink businesses, including this website and club. Their team are always thinking hard about the way they do business and, in our experience, prioritise relationships, integrity and reputation above all. It’s an enlightened approach. We believe that’s why they have deservedly won this Pub Company of the Year Award so many times in recent years.

Everards’ Simon Godson (centre) and Erika Hardy (red dress) receive their 2017 award

Following their fantastic Project William scheme, which continues to regenerate many pubs in partnership with other independent businesses, Everards have carried on evolving their thinking. Their current energies focus on updating and reinvigorating the crucial relationship between themselves and the people who run their pubs. Traditionally in the pub industry, this relationship has been a master-servant deal: the BIG pub owner and the little tenant. The tenant pays the landowner. The landowner is boss.

Everards want to move away from this thinking. They do not believe it is the most effective way to create strong, productive long-term relationships. So they now describe everyone who runs their pubs not as “licensees” or “tenants”, but as “business owners”. Within this new frame of thought, Everards are the enablers. They partner ambitious, driven and talented entrepreneurs, giving them the tools to create and run their own food and drink businesses. They empower. If the business owner does well, they do well.

To us, that makes complete sense.

As if to hammer home the point, head of marketing Erika Hardy told us: “The Publican Pub Company of the Year Award 2017 is one we share with all of the independent business owners who run Everards pubs.”

We wish more companies thought like Everards. We hope their enlightened approach allows them to continue to thrive as they plan their exciting relocation.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt founded Great Food Club in 2010 and is editor-in-chief. He loves to brew his own beer and unearth food and drink gems, and lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and jack russell terrier.