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Greene King, the country’s leading pub company and brewer, is the first pub operator to partner with Best Bar None and deliver best practice in customer and team members’ safety and welfare across its 1,600 managed pubs. 

The new multi-site accreditation scheme, the first issued by Best Bar None, covers Greene King’s nationwide managed pub estate, and demonstrates a strong focus on the safety and wellbeing of its team members, customers and communities.

Best Bar None, the Home Office backed scheme, is recognised for identifying well-run licensed premises with a strong focus on venue management, staff training and care, customer safety and welfare and customer services and the community.

This new multi-site accreditation follows the success of Best Bar None’s existing partnerships in 54 UK towns and cities.

Greene King, named Best Pub Company Employer at this year’s Publican Awards, worked closely with Best Bar None to develop the new multi-site operator accreditation model, which allows operators to become accredited even if they are not situated in one of the 54 towns and cities running a Best Bar None scheme through a local partnership. The multi-site operator model sees the pub operator and the national Best Bar None team working together to accredit all or part of the operator’s estate.

Commenting on the new accreditation, Assad Malic, chief communications and sustainability officer at Greene King, said: “We want everyone to be able to socialise safely in our pubs and by working with Best Bar None this national accreditation offers customers that added reassurance. Ensuring our pubs are welcoming and safe for all our customers and our teams is a responsibility which we take very seriously. We are pleased to lead the way with this and it will be good for the whole industry as it is rolled out further.”  

The national Best Bar None chairman, Lord Smith of Hindhead, Philip Smith added: “We are delighted to have developed this with Greene King and we are confident that the many benefits of venues becoming accredited across an entire business will be an incentive for other multiple operators to follow suit.

“The scheme has the added benefit of providing pub, club and bar operators with tangible evidence to demonstrate their commitment to, and investment in, customer and staff wellbeing and safety.”

Other benefits of becoming multi-site accredited include: ensuring compliance with the Licensing Act, supporting venue managers to make any required improvements including staff training, encouraging closer examination and monitoring of sites by area managers and ensuring venues are managed to a consistently high standard across the estate.

In addition to the operational benefits, research shows that customers like the reassurance of knowing a venue is committed to the wellbeing of their customers and staff – 49% of adults are more likely to visit a venue that has measures to improve women’s safety, according to a September 2022 YouGov survey.

Full accreditation of all Greene King’s 1,600 managed house venues is on track to be completed by spring next year. 

The company has already undergone a full day’s assessment of its Head Office procedures and policies, to establish how responsibly managed (from HQ down to individual employees) each site is and what is being done to actively provide a safe, welcoming environment for both customers and staff. 

On-site checks of Greene King’s managed pubs will ensure these procedures and policies are practised ‘on the ground’. It will examine a number of criteria from ensuring the required notices, such as Challenge 21/25, are displayed through to how well bar and door staff are trained in identifying and dealing with any issues, including the welfare and safety of all. The process looks at how well staff are trained to identify and support vulnerable people and are ready to assist customers and fellow team members at all times, including helping them return home safely at the end of the night.