Experienced operations director to take over running Butcombe’s pubs as it looks for more growth

October 19, 2023

The parent group of Bristol craft brewer and pub chain Butcombe has appointed a new operations director as it continues to exploit what it sees as a gap in the market for quality venues.

In his new role Simon Griffiths, pictured, will be responsible for overseeing Wrington-based Butcombe’s pubs and inns as well as those owned and run by its Jersey-headquartered parent group Liberation on the Channel Islands.

Simon started his career in hospitality in 1999 and worked his way through the ranks of fish restaurant and bar chain Loch Fyne.

He was promoted to an operations manager role in 2012, where he was solely responsible for the group’s hotels, increasing its occupancy and average daily rates to record levels.

He moved into pubs in 2018, looking after sites in well-heeled areas of West London, including Kensington, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Bayswater.

He then joined fast-growing gastropub chain Premium & Urban Pubs South as an operations manager in 2020, responsible for its outlets on the South Coast, before joining Liberation Group last December.

Liberation Group managing director, pubs & inns, Jayson Perfect, said: “Simon’s operational and leadership expertise alongside his wealth of knowledge and experience of our industry, will bring a huge amount of value to our senior management team.

“This is an exciting time for Liberation Group as a business and I wish Simon all the very best as he takes on this new challenge with us.”

Butcombe was launched in 1978 by ex-Courage Western director Simon Whitmore.

It was acquired by Liberation Group six years ago and has made a number of other acquisitions since to build a chain of mainly pubs with bedrooms across the South and West of England.

The latest – involving London-based Cirrus Inns, which was acquired last December – means Butcombe now operates a 137-strong portfolio of inns.

Its Bristol pubs include The Cottage Inn at Baltic Wharf, The Ostrich on Lower Guinea Street and The Whitmore Tap on Whiteladies Road, named after Mr Whitmore, who died in 2012.

Its range of beers include Original Bitter, Underfall Lager, Rarebreed Pale Ale, Golden Ale and its award-winning alcohol-free Goram IPA Zero.

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