Dutch beer giant Heineken has said this morning it will create more than 700 jobs across the UK as part of a £42m investment plan into its pub operation.
The brewing company said that 660 pubs – more than a quarter of its Star Pubs & Bars venue business – will be upgraded as part of the move.
It comes as the UK hospitality industry targets a strong period of recovery in 2022 after two years hampered by pandemic regulations.
Heineken UK said that 137 of its pubs will receive a makeover costing at least £125,000 as it continues to refresh its property estate.
The company said the latest cash injection will bring the total investment in refurbishing its pubs to £115 million since the pandemic first hit.
The investment will focus on suburban pubs and those on high streets near residential neighbourhoods which have benefited from an increase in homeworking, the firm added.
Refurbishments will include kitchen refits and new bars at a number of sites.
The group is also focusing on improving outdoor seating areas across some of its pubs amid a continued increase in demand for alfresco drinking and dining.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “People have stayed closer to home over the last two years due to the pandemic and turned to their local for the kind of experience they’d previously have travelled to a city centre, restaurant or bar to find.
“They don’t want to turn back time: they expect better quality including food and speciality drinks – such as cocktails – that are harder to recreate at home.
“The cost-of-living squeeze on wallets is magnifying these trends.
“People are looking for a really great experience when they go out – these are challenging times.
“However, we are confident that pubs which adapt to pubgoers’ changing needs will have a bright, long-term future.”