Further to Pete’s post about the Intrepid Fox, the deal Mitchell and Butler have done, according to this story, effects more than then just a few metallers:

It has been sold along with 20 other central London pubs as part of a £53 million deal. […] A Mitchells & Butlers spokeswoman said: “The Intrepid Fox has been sold as part of a package to investment companies and pub operators. “The 21 pubs were all prime locations but quite small, with average weekly sales of £7,000. The rest of our pubs have average weekly sales of £16,000.”

This, I can only assume, includes the Cambridge Circus All Bar One, which has been closed for a few weeks, and our old favourite The Polar Bear, which was closed when publoggers tried to go for a beer there last night (in fact, was the Lyric the first casualty in this?). Can it really be the case that boozers taking a grand over the bar every day are not profitable?

Actually there seems to be horrendous maths at work here, as according to the M&B Strategy the average at all pubs is 17k a week, don’t tell me someone has just subtracted one from the other???

The problem here I think is how M&B segment their market. There’s no room in this rigid format for the unusual (unless it’s The Bear in Oxford with it’s c0cking tie collection…), the friendly, the personal, the human-sized, the EFFING PROPER BRITISH PUB, because, as they put it:

Our on-going focus is on growing returns, first by capturing drinks market share and raising our food sales mix and secondly by driving down the cost of the construction templates for converting pubs to these brands and formats through the innovation and creativity of our property teams.

Anyway, if you can think of some good questions to ask them they have a page for that too