The role of the business development manager in the leasehold sector of the UK's public house trade

J.D. Pratten (Department of Business and Management Studies, MMU Cheshire, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To examine the work done by the business development managers (BDMs) who are employed by the pub owning companies with leased/tenanted estates to support the individual licensees.


The public statements issued by the pub owning companies, together with job descriptions were studied. A national survey about the attitude of leaseholders to their landlords was considered, and then both BDMs and lessees were interviewed, so as to see if the employers, the BDMs and the lessees agreed about the service provided.


The companies maintained that the BDM assisted the individual licensees, but licensees felt that they lacked real power and existed mainly as a debt collector and a company man to check that the tie is not broken. The national survey suggested dissatisfaction with the business relationship between lessee and landlord.

Research limitations/implications

The case study was confined to a small number of lessees and BDMs. Practical implications: the work confirmed that many licensees resented the lack of practical assistance. This is significant information for the owners and prospective lessees.


The role of the BDM has been neglected, barely rating a mention in most papers addressing the leasehold sector of the licensed trade. This is an attempt to evaluate their work.



Pratten, J. (2005), "The role of the business development manager in the leasehold sector of the UK's public house trade", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 33 No. 12, pp. 917-926.

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