Stonegate Pub Company is one of the youngest operators in the boozer business but its age belies the fact that it owns some of the most renowned brands and sites in the industry. The company sprang to life five years ago when private equity firm TDR Capital acquired an estate of 333 pubs from hospitality group Mitchells & Butlers. Less than a year later Stonegate merged with Town & City Pub Company, creating one of the top five largest managed operators in the business. Its flagship sites include Yates’s and Slug and Lettuce, which today represent a substantial chunk of the 620 pubs it now operates in both high street and suburban locations throughout the country.
Head of food development, Perry Huntley, has been with the company all the way through its journey, playing a key role in ensuring that the company’s kitchens and chefs are firing on all cylinders across the estate. Stonegate certainly has all the resources it needs to hand since opening a training academy in Birmingham that houses a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and five individual kitchen training pods. As well as hosting supplier innovation days, the site means that chefs can be put through their paces without the need to utilise pub kitchens or work around trading hours. Perry continues to oversee menu development and has introduced changes from season to season to improve quality and choice for our customers. Growth in breakfast sales has been a big highlight for the chain, keeping its kitchens — and equipment — busy from morning till night. Stonegate has doubled in size since its formation, with acquisition a fundamental part of the strategy.
Earlier this year, it bought 15 Maclay Inns pubs to boost its portfolio north of the border. Chief executive, Simon Longbottom, said the deal gives it presence across Glasgow, Edinburgh and central Scotland. “The prudent reviewing and planning of our estate has enabled Stonegate to invest in a high quality, predominantly freehold business that further strengthens our portfolio within Scotland.”
“The prudent planning of our estate has enabled Stonegate to invest in a high quality business that strengthens our portfolio”