Meet the tenants and see how McMullen's can help you in your pub hospitality career. At McMullen's we like sharing stories, especially successful ones.
Franko Mutinelli – The Cowper Arms
Experienced hospitality professional Franko Mutinelli identified the Cowper Arms in Welwyn as a business with the potential for growth, and since taking over in April 2012, the pub has gone from strength to strength.
Despite the Cowper Arms being his first pub McMullens, Franko has a wealth of experience and has a background in running pubs, hotels and restaurants. Franko explains “Most recently I was running a country house in the Yorkshire Dales, it was coming to the end of my time with them and I needed a new challenge.”
Having been in the industry for over 20 years, Franko was aware of the fantastic pubs McMullen's have and spotted an opportunity, “The prospect of running my own business was something that’s always interested me and the opportunity that was presented to me was fantastic.”
The next steps to taking his dream pub were easy, Franko explains “I had an interview where I went through my plan for the business and the whole process was explained to me, it was all so simple and transparent.” Having considered the various tenure options available Franko selected to run the pub under McMullen’s Pub Operator’s Agreement which offered him the opportunity to take on the business with minimal entry costs and have McMullen’s deal with much of the administrative function leaving him to focus on the front of house operation.
Franko already had a Personal Licence and numerous hospitality qualifications but he was sure to make the most of the training McMullen's offer, “My front of house manager John, has been on an employment law and cocktail training course, the free training McMullen's provide is absolutely fantastic.”
In fact since taking the pub, Franko has been involved with mentoring McMullen’s tenants and pub operator who are new to the industry and has provided both front of house and kitchen training, “I thought it was great, I’m really happy to do that, it’s all part of the fun.”
Having worked in numerous hospitality businesses before, Franko recognises the importance of the ongoing support from head office. “They’re great at communicating and get all the administrative stuff sorted which allows me to get on with what I’m best at, running a great pub.”
Since working with McMullen’s he has been pleasantly surprised with the way in which McMullen’s treat their business partners: “I’ve got nothing but praise for McMullen’s, they are a great bunch of guys who are really down to earth”. Having worked with some big hospitality companies he found the McMullen’s approach refreshing “You’re not just a number!!
For an experienced operator like Franko it’s important that he is given the space to run his own business and building on the successes at the Cowper Arms Franko has taken on a number of new pubs with McMullens as a “Multi site pub operator” he now runs a successful business based on all of the positive support and the agreeable business models on offer with McMullens brewery.
When it became clear that one of the sites did not quite fit with Franko he was able to come to an agreement with McMullens to move on and then to take on other sites to increase his portfolio and ensure the continued success of his overall business.
As a tenant in one of the pubs and as a business trading under the “Pub Operators Agreement” Franko has built himself a small group of financially viable public houses where he can utilise all of his experience and skill sets to enjoy the fruits of his labour in partnership with McMullens Brewery.
So, would he recommend taking on a McMullen's tenancy or a business under the “Pub Operators Agreement ?
“Definitely, if you are willing to put in the hard work and have a genuine love for the Pub industry I could think of no better way to create a business for yourself where you can enjoy both personal and financial growth in your life”
Tom Perry & Samantha Smith, Orange Tree Sawbridgeworth
After spending many years as a Company Director in London Sam and I decided to fulfil a long standing dream of running our own pub/restaurant. When we contacted McMullen’s, we were pleased to find that they were really interested in us as people. Rather than simply presenting us with a list of pubs, we met their Operations Manager who gave some excellent advice and urged us to consider all the points before moving forward. We saw this as incredible diligence on the brewer’s behalf and could see that McMullen’s were not merely filling vacancies. A comprehensive training programme is offered by McMullen’s which makes it easy for newcomers to enter the trade once they are committed and we were able to join several other tenants on training courses run at their Hertfordshire brewery, which was invaluable. From the start, we felt comfortable with the McMullen’s set up and the fact that we could speak directly to decision makers such as Fergus McMullen made the transition far easier. Though the company is steeped in history and tradition, it continues to adapt to the ever-changing demands of a new breed of publicans - we are encouraged to play an important part in shaping the future of the McMullen’s business and in return we feel that – when required – McMullen’s are at the heart of our business too.
Nigel Brown & Natalie Chappenden - Rising Sun, Halls Green
We came into the pub trade two years ago as tenants of McMullen’s as complete novices to the industry and, although we had a very clear vision of what we wanted to achieve from running a pub, we were very unsure of the process, legalities and training required to reach our ultimate goal of a successful, efficient and, above all friendly and welcoming old fashioned country pub, providing an excellent value for money food and drinks offer.
Good friends who are tenants with McMullen’s, recommended we speak to them; initially with a view to discussing our potential suitability, our business vision and what McMullen’s could offer us within the McMullen’s portfolio that suited our requirements and overall business vision.
It didn’t take us very long at all to find our ‘perfect, dream’ pub, nestled into the beautiful North Hertfordshire countryside, The Rising Sun. Once we had decided that this was the one for us, we put together a comprehensive business plan and arranged a further meeting with McMullen’s. From the outset, we had a good feeling about McMullen’s; the company is still fronted by members of the family which somehow gives it that less ‘corporate and stuffy’ feel - we really did feel we would not just be entering into a mutually beneficial business partnership, but also be joining a close knit and supportive family enterprise that have their tenants and employees best interest at the heart of their success. The training provided by McMullen’s is second to none, from gaining our personal licenses to a detailed cellarman’s course, food hygiene and many more. Every involvement with McMullen’s from Cellar Services, Training, Reception and Estates through to the hierarchy of the company has been positive, efficient and friendly at all times.
I would have no hesitation in recommending McMullen’s to anybody wishing to take on a tenanted pub or indeed taking on a future tenancy agreement with them and am very happy to provide this testimonial for them.