The Coaching Inn Group
- Sector: Leisure
- Region: East Midlands
Bringing the past into the present
In market towns across the country, old inns that once acted as hubs for entire communities have often fallen into disrepair or disuse. Fixing that situation is what The Coaching Inn has made its speciality.
"We purchase under-loved coaching inns at the heart of a market town and bring them back to life," says Chief Executive Officer Kevin Charity. "We give careful consideration to the history and the property itself, making sure that we don’t destroy the integrity of the building, but we add a 21st-Century twist. With most inns having a 300-year track record, it doesn’t take much to ignite the love and make them once again the focal point of the community."
The company provides a premium offering, which it says has been proven to work well even during the tough economic times of recent years. "We have made sure that we offer the best possible product we can, delivered consistently," says Kevin. "The economic climate over the past ten years has played well for our premium offer. When it comes to leisure spend, there has been a significant shift to ‘premiumisation’. Instead of going out three or four times a week, people are visiting less frequently but spending on higher-priced, better-quality drinks and food products. The same goes for bedrooms. Our premium refurbishments fit this model perfectly."
Buying and refurbishing freehold properties is a capital-intensive process and the company has been able to secure finance from the Bulldog Hotel Group to enable it to roll out its business model. Such support has enabled it to develop 14 inns so far, with £4m spent on refurbishments in the past 12 months alone.
"One of the key ingredients to our growth is having a solid provision of capital," says Kevin. "By the very nature of having a sound financial footing, growth starts to become a by-product of this. It enabled us to make the right decisions."