Peter Tatlow, owner of The Golden Fleece in Braughing
How did you get started in business?
After the pub had been closed for 10 years we were presented with an opportunity to restore The Golden Fleece to its former glory and took possession of it in 2010. We retained and enhanced many of the building’s original features and aimed to breathe new life into the business and ensure it regained its place at the heart of the community as a delightful village pub and dining rooms.
What’s your motivation?
Having been in a tenanted pub previously we were frustrated by the brewery taking too long to react to situations and their constantly inflated rents and purchase pricing. Through buying a freehold property we were able to make better purchasing decisions and to fashion the business in a way we wanted, allowing us to provide a quality offer.
The biggest challenges?
Business rates keep going up, alcohol duty is the highest in Europe and the government seems to see pubs as a bit of a social pariah, although we provide much income to them through rates, VAT, duty, corporation tax and PAYE. Many say finding good staff is hard, but we are lucky to have a fantastic team around us.
Most valuable lessons?
Plan ahead but don’t panic if things don’t go as planned. Treat staff well, train them well and look after them as they are the face of your business. Always look to learn from others and never be complacent.