Rob Star cut his teeth in the 90s rave scene, organising nights for legendary promoter, Universe among others. Ensuring that people have a good time is in his DNA, so it’s no surprise to see his Electric Star venture going from strength to strength.

Rob Star (right) with Nick Moules of rebuildingsociety

His fourth pub, The Jackdaw and Star in Homerton, East London, is set to open later this summer and the extensive refurbishment to keep the pub in tune with the Electric Star brand has been funded by rebuildingsociety’s lenders to the tune of £43,000.

Featuring a copper bar and chandeliers to give it a high end look and feel, The Jackdaw and Star will join The Star of Bethnal Green, The Star of Kings and The Star at Hackney Downs in the Electric Star portfolio.

Rob concentrates on providing an experience for customers. He acknowledges the impact of economic pressure on their spending power, but believes if someone truly wants to go to the pub for an evening they will find the money.

What has definitely changed though is people viewing a trip to the pub as a treat, so Rob has adapted. He offers cask ales and franchises his kitchens out to people passionate about their food, typically chefs with a pop-up restaurant or plans to establish one. It gives them a low barrier to entry and chefs typically stay for 3-6 months, ensuring a healthy churn in the style of food available to customers.

It’s an innovative approach and the theme of innovation stretches through to the customer loyalty programme. It’s rare for a small chain to operate such a scheme, but Rob sees value in tracking what his customers spend, where they spend it and capitalising on marketing opportunities like birthdays and Christmas. He also puts on special evenings for the most loyal customers including wine tasting and sushi making. There’s a lot of competition in the areas he operates in, so keeping things fresh and new is a key component of the Electric Star strategy.

In the long term, Rob wants to add another two pubs to his portfolio. He has lived through the redevelopment of East London and the Tech City scene promises to lead to further regeneration. He is likely to stay in the East in order to benefit from the efficiencies of distance. At short notice Rob and his management team can transfer stock or rearrange shifts to meet demand and most importantly, they will be fifteen minutes away from Rob’s flat by bike.

Nearly 200 people lent money to Electric Star as part of the £43,000 loan. If the business continues to perform well, Rob will be able to rely on the support of rebuildingsociety’s lenders in the future to help him achieve his business ambitions.

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