New venture allows closed pubs to operate as food shops

A new national initiative will enable pubs to trade as food and drink shops, helping to give their local communities access to essential items. 

Mypubshop.com, powered by StarStock, will give pubs across the country the ability to take and process orders online, providing them with a valuable income stream while also offering their local communities a way to access essential household staples such as bread, eggs and milk, alongside other food and drink products. 

The service is launching in partnership with Brakes, Budweiser Brewing Group, Coca-Cola European Partners and Use Your Local, and is open to pubs across the UK. Admiral Taverns has already agreed to make mypubshop available to its 1,000 pubs, while Greene King Pub Partners, which operates a tenanted and leased estate of more than 1,000 pubs, is also on board. St Austell has also signed up for its estate of 170 pubs, which are predominantly in the South West. 

The partnership with food wholesaler Brakes will open up the service to the 15,000-plus pubs it regularly supplies. It will offer participating venues a food shop “starter kit”. 

Each transaction made by mypubshop will accrue a 2% fee to cover operational costs, but the venture is being run as non-profit, with any surplus revenue donated directly to the NHS. 

Sam Ulph, founder and chief executive of StarStock, said: “We are all aware of what is happening around us, and in these exceptional times this is a vital way for pubs to stay connected, offer an essential service and to secure an income stream during a period when they are unable to trade in their normal way. It will also help to alleviate the pressure on other grocery shops and the supermarkets.

“This initiative is much more than an online pub service. It is entirely focused on helping communities and we hope that it will drive positivity for pubs and champion the people that run them as the local heroes they are.”

The mypubshop platform will give pubs the ability to host a web shop. Licensees will be able to select items for their shop “inventory” and provide an online payment service. Once orders are placed by customers, pubs will operate a collection service from their venues. 

Joby Mortimer, head of sector for pubs, Brakes UK, said: “We are delighted to be involved in such a meaningful initiative supporting pubs, and helping their customers access essential food items in these challenging times. The pub has been the cornerstone of communities for hundreds of years, and long may that continue – and we hope this initiative will maintain the connection between the pub and their customers, whilst also engaging even more consumers with the Great British local.” 

The mypubshop service launches this week, is available nationwide and pubs can register to use the service at www.mypubshop.com.

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