Laurel Pub – Change of Year End (059)


Financial year end change for 650 pubs.


The Laurel Pub Company was formed by the purchase of the Pub Division of Whitbread by Deutsche Bank in 2000. The business comprised 650 managed pubs and 1500 pub premises leased to independent managers. Deutsche Bank sold the group on in late 2004 but in between times, the central team had to disconnect from Whitbread suppliers, processes and systems, manage the sale of the leased estate and purchase of other small pub groups.

Issues / Challenges

Due to the nature of the project the completion date was immovable with just one opportunity in the year to carry it out.

The project affected 50 systems and 650 pubs, reliant on the commitment of a number of stakeholder groups. This included the 650 pub managers who had to amend their working practises and stock taking routines.

Aims of the project

Stuart Copeland of Stonac was engaged to manage the process of altering Laurel Pub’s financial week ending day from Saturday to Sunday to bring the company into line with other its partners.

Measures implemented

Stuart brought together a small team who worked over a period of three months to prepare and communicate the switchover. The change was carried out over the weekend of the financial year end. The key activity over the weekend was frequent monitoring with a follow up system for pubs that were behind schedule.


The exercise was successfully completed as planned and on time.

Learning points

  • A fixed implementation date helps focus the minds of everybody on the project
  • The excellent communication by the operational team to the pubs was vital to the success of the project