Dragon Taverns Limited


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About the Business

Company Name: Dragon Taverns Limited Company Number: 8879325
Business Type: Hospitality Years Trading: 2-3 years
Business Location: London

About the Risk

Risk rating


Default rate


Bad debt rate


About the Security

Security Offered:

1st Charge on Commercial Property - First priority legal charge over commercial property

Est. Equity: 0.00

Personal Guarantee - PG from director and majority shareholder

Est. Equity: 0.00

Risk Indicators Identified:

Important Files

Who are we?

Narrative from rebuildingsociety regarding Dragon's Taverns Application

This loan application is different from all previous applications for funding as it relates to the borrowers’ proposed purchase of an existing business – The Queen’s Head pub. The borrowers are experienced pub operators and are currently running a tied house. Under such an arrangement, there is little scope for innovation and little reward for hard work; this is why the borrowers want to capitalise on their experience and take their own pub which they will be able to run as they choose without oversight from a pub company. The financial information disclosed on this site is taken from the full accounts which are consistent with the filed Financial Statements of the target pub for the 2 years ending 30 April 2012. The accounts disclose a gross profit of approximately 40% which is what might be expected of a pub like this serving food and drinks. The net result shows a loss in both years but this is largely due to the directors’ remuneration package wich is very high at £61,785 (2011) and £57,575 (2012). The borrowers have undertaken to limit their remuneration to £6000 throughout the course of the loan. This is achievable as they will live in the pub premises so will not have the usual accommodation costs. The borrowers also believe that there is scope for increasing profitability by renegotiating their banking arrangements and this is expected to reduce costs by about £2000 a year for the first 2 years. The fixtures and fittings are in good order and while there will continue to be an annual depreciation charge in the accounts this does not represent a cash outflow so the cash position is likely to be a little healthier than the mere profit measure will suggest.

The Queens Head Pub

One of the oldest pubs in Bury St Edmunds with origins in the 18th Century as a coaching inn The Queens Head retains its character but is a busy, town centre hostelry. Having been operated by the current family for 30 years we feel The Queens Head is ready for some sympathetic updating, including a new, fresh and local menu which could be achieved without alienating the excellent current trade.

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Loan Offers

What is the loan for?

The loan is to assist us with the purchase of the free of tie lease of The Queens Head.

The Pub

The Queens Head is one of the oldest pubs in Bury St Edmunds, originally a coaching inn in the 18th century. The public house has seen many changes but has still managed to retain plenty of character. It is located in the heart of the town centre near the most historic parts of the town with great shops and a busy market twice a week. The pub has been run by the same family for the past 30 years, focused mainly on food trade and live sports which has turned it into a profitable business over the years. The family has only decided to put the business on the market due to all the children taking on different careers and the land lady deciding to retire. Under the circumstance this has given us a very rare opportunity.

Labour cost & directors cost

Looking at the accounts of the current business, the directors of the company are taking a salary of £52,775 and a dividend of £35,000 a year out of the business. This is one area we would make saving as we would not pay ourselves a salary at the same level.

We also know we could lower the labour costs from the current business as we are very hands on people and would work in all areas of the business. We would control the labour budget and make big saving in this area.


We feel that even though this business is already running to a good standard there is always room for improvement. We feel with our experience in the trade, our drive and ideas, we could update this pub and improve the business even further.

Live Sport

With the pub having a big pull with customers to watch live sports and with it being one of the only pubs still showing live sports in Bury St Edmunds we would not want to take this away from the business or customers. But we do feel that this area of the business could still be improved by promoting it more to the customers inside and outside of the pub. We would do this by sending out updates of what’s on from facebook and the main website which is not being done at the moment. Also we would have A-boards outside the front of the pub, having clip frames around the pub and in the toilets. With the pub having 7 T.Vs we would use them to advertise too.


The first year we would focus on growing the food side of the business as we feel there could be a lot more growth in the area of the business.

We feel that the food in this pub needs an update as there is a lot on their menu and they are using a lot of frozen food. We would use our ideas from our last pub and have locally sourced freshly prepared food menu with main meals as specials. We would also do a home cooked Sunday lunch every week.

We have looked around the area in Suffolk and there are many farmers and butchers to supply us with local meats and veg. We would need to advertise the food more to the customers on the TVs again, A-boards inside and outside the pub. We would also offer student & OAP discounts, have food deals with drinks and have set menu offers in the evening throughout the week.

Another idea is to have freshly made cakes and biscuits available on the bar to complement coffee as they have a very good machine that could really be making more profit and benefit the food side of the business more.

We would also take menus to all the local businesses in the town and offer them a takeaway menu where they can call and collected their sandwiches, baguettes or paninis in their lunch break to drive the business to a different market.


This is more a lager focused pub at the moment with all the live sports available which we would still promote and do drinks offers on bottle drinks, lager of the month, shots and wine. Real ale is not really focused on in this pub at the moment and with real ale having big growth in the pub trade over the last couple of years. Ale has now become very popular with the younger and the older pub goers we see a niche in the market for real ale in this pub. As it is a free house we would have the opportunity to bring local ale from around the area as well as from further afield.

We would also want to do a yearly beer festival to showcase local ales and ciders from around the area which would really drive the trade of ale to this pub.


After the first year of running our business we would look to refurbish the interior of the building with a new paint job throughout as we feel it would benefit from an update as it has not been done for over 5 years. We would want to restore some of the old character by reopening the old fire places and changing some of the decor in the building as it is grade 2 listed and very historic. We want to bring some history back into this building and give it a cozier atmosphere. We would also improve the toilets as the previous lease holder has already bought new urinals but have not fitted which would give the toilets a fresher, cleaner feel.

In the long term we would look to renovate the back barn area, which has already had planning permission and was converted into a double garage, store room, toilets and games room. We feel there is scope to make better use of this area and build a large function room. If we are able to build this function room it would mean that we would grow the business further by having live bands or we could cut into a new market and do functions for office Christmas parties and weddings. The registry office is just round the corner and with Abbey gardens just being over the road it would be the perfect place for wedding photos.

There is also a option in the future to convert 5 of the bedrooms in the upstairs flat into rooms with en-suites for a bed and breakfasts which would bring another market to the business and grow it even more.

Live Music and Entertainment

As the pub at the moment is not doing live music that much we would really want to increase this side of the business and drive this as there is a big market for live music. We would start off by bring in acoustic singer song writers and small bands in the main bar to offer something different to our customers other than live sport. Then once we removed the function room we can bring in bigger bands and cover all genres of music, as we would have the space to show them without affecting the main bar. We also would want to do live comedy nights once a month as we know that this would also offer something different to our customers. We would want to do a pub quiz once a week or once a month depending on the popularity. We feel by offering more entertainment than just live sports we would retain the old customer by offering them something more and gain new customer.

Why consider investing?

We believe that running a pub is not just a business, it a way of life and you have to be passionate about what you do. We believe with both our histories in the hospitality trade and music we have the ability to drive this business forward to the future. We have a dream to give great customer service with good local affordable food, great live sports and live music/entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere to bring something to all the general public.


I have been in the hospitality & leisure trade for my whole working career. I have over 18 years experience from starting out as a kitchen porter right through to running our own business.

I was appointed manager of Ask after being with the company for only two years. After a couple of years of running two separate restaurants for the company at the same time, I was offered a bigger opportunity to become an opens manager. My duties included going around the country and helping open new restaurants for Ask and Zizzi (sister restaurant of the company). I was in charge of training all staff and gave support to the manager, going through stock control, budgets and controlling labour and how to run these restaurants in the best way they could. I then went on to mange a Costa coffee shop. At the time I arrived it was making a loss, 18 months after I left it was a thriving profitable shop. Me & my partner (Chris) then decided to take on our own business, we leased a public house from Trust Inns Pub Co. We took the pub when it was on its last legs (no entertainment, no food & very run down). Me & Chris have transformed the business, we have live music every week as well as comedy nights once a month. We offer a great freshly prepared, locally sourced, home cooked food menu.


I have been working in the industry for many years from being a barman then bar supervisor to running our own leased public house. I have also trained as a sound engineer which i was then able to use my knowledge to start my own business when i was just 21. I am now able to combine both jobs as we have live music at the pub.

I set up as a freelance sound engineer and lighting engineer when I was 21. I have organized events and set up bands for those events. When sorting the events I would take on many roles such as band manager, client liaison, sound/lighting engineer and I maintain the equipment. I also worked as a percussionist for a team building company which did big events for companies such as Halifax and Carphone Warehouse.

Together Tracey and Chris took on The Hole in the Wall Pub in 2012. On taking over the pub was completely run down, taking less than £3,500 per week and making an annual loss of £18,500. The tenants had little understanding of the trade, how to drive more footfall or how to achieve acceptable margins. Tracey and Chris assessed what type of clientèle they could successfully attract from the locality and looked for their own niches to grow the business. They introduced a popular menu of locally sourced, home cooked food and introduced regular entertainment such as music and comedy. By the end of their first year of trading, they had turned the pub around increasing the average weekly take by around £1,500 per week and the profit to £17,500.

The Loan is supported by personal Guarantees from both Tracey and Chris as well as a first charge on Chris's fathers property. The property is unencumbered with an estimate value of £1.2m

07/10/2015£1,395.25£848.16£547.09 (9 days late)