Case Study - Andrew Edwards

The Monkstone, Cardiff and The Barn, Llantrisant

Cardiff-based Andrew Edwards became a Marston’s franchisee at the Monkstone Inn in Cardiff in April 2013, following two and a half years with the pub chain. Six months on and he has recently opened a second pub, the beautiful Barn in Llantrisant. Marston’s invested £100,000 into refurbishing the site ready for Andrew to re-open the doors on November 20 and, with a unique combination of contemporary and olde worlde charm, it is already proving a hit with customers!

Edwards is the now the company’s third franchisee to have two sites up and running but, not content with that, he is already looking for another to add to his portfolio. His ambitious plans include having five pubs within five years.

Still only 33, he has been his own boss since he was 20 years old when he set up a wholesale confectionery business with a friend. After a year, he decided to do something different and sold his share of the business to his partner before moving to Spain to get away for the summer and consider what else he might do.

He arrived on the Costa Blanca and within a very short time he found a plot and decided to build his own small club - by himself, brick by brick! The club was popular and trade was good, encouraging Andrew to expand by building a restaurant next door, followed quickly by a fine dining establishment. Undaunted by a total lack of experience in the bar trade, he worked with a friend who had run hospitality businesses back in the UK and quickly learned the ropes.

An energetic and dynamic person, Andrew found himself becoming restless again some years later, so he sold the fine dining restaurant and let the pub to someone else before returning home to Wales. He wanted to stay in the hospitality sector but felt he needed some structured advice and training, so he could learn more about the trade how things work from a practical point of view. He recognised that management training would be crucial to his future success, particularly if he was to achieve his ambition of running several pubs.

Andrew was keen to find out as much as he could, as quickly as possible, and to gain knowledge and experience. After being his own boss for a total of 11 years, he wanted a new challenge with a large organisation and was impatient to succeed.

“I decided the best way to achieve this would be to work in conjunction with an established, successful company,” Edwards said. “I needed a thorough understanding of the UK market so a franchise with comprehensive training and support systems seemed the obvious way forward. I decided to stay in the hospitality sector because it’s what I enjoy and I’m good at.

“I was fortunate in choosing Marston’s because the company has an impressive track record and is well respected in the trade. The training I received was second to none and there is no doubt about the considerable benefits of being a franchisee.”

Andrew continues: “Some people who’ve worked for themselves may find it difficult at first to adopt someone else’s ideas but it’s important to accept the differences and remember that the franchisor has taken years to perfect their system. My advice is to make the most of the support that’s offered and follow the tried and tested system – you won’t go far wrong.

“Franchising is a people business where a great deal of knowledge, experience and best practice is shared. At Marston’s we have regular meetings with other franchisees and head office staff which I really enjoy because it’s an opportunity to offer ideas and exchange views. It is especially rewarding when your own idea is accepted, then incorporated into the training schedule and adopted throughout the network.”

Today Andrew employs 25 people across his two pubs, with his sister looking after the accounts and payroll.

Celene Normoyle, the Franchise Development Manager, is keen to meet more people with Andrew’s brand of dynamism and determination for the exciting pub franchise opportunities that Marston’s have available across the country.

She comments: “Andrew has been hugely proactive at the Monkstone - increasing sales, engaging his team and building great relationships with his customers. His approach to the Barn is equally energetic and he has ambitious plans for expansion which we look forward to supporting him with.

The multi-site franchise model is an area of focus for us at present and we are keen to develop this further in the future, working in partnership with Andrew and other franchisees who are keen to grow their businesses. We can help them identify suitable sites and support them throughout all stages of the process to running new pubs.”

A Marston’s Pub franchise costs just £15,000 with £15,000-£20,000 working capital required. No previous experience of the hospitality or catering sector is required as all aspects of running a pub franchise business are covered by Marston’s comprehensive training and ongoing support programme.

Click here to read more about the Marston's pub franchise.