ETM's Martin brothers flying the flag for London pubs
30 May, 2012
Tom and Ed Martin’s ETM Group is helping to transform the image of the London pub, says a profile of the pair in the Evening Standard.
It says ETM is on track to turnover £22.5m in the current year, with its ten pubs booming despite the prolonged economic downturn and competition from supermarkets. Another site in Canary Wharf will open in the next nine months.
The profile traces the history of ETM, to Tom Martin’s decision to quite his job as a commercial solicitor to set it up with his brother Ed. “I wanted to start my own business, I didn’t want to be an employee any more, and I loved pubs. The time seemed right—I was 28 and didn’t have a wife or kids—and the market seemed right: there were very few pubs doing good food around,” said Tom Martin.
The first pub came about when he spotted The Well on St John Street and snapped up the freehold with bank help. Revenues hit £740,000 in the first year, and Ed joined as an equal shareholder. “We had many a night with friends packing into the pub for lock-ins. We were often opening the door to the milkman because we hadn’t gone home yet. But fairly soon we realised we had to get on with the business.”
Tom Martin says competition is much fiercer now. “There’s massive competition from loads of others trying to do the same thing as us today. Every time a pub comes onto the market, it’s a struggle to get it.” He is scathing of the tax burden on pubs too. “Our industry gets hit by everything going. And local councils who are supposed to be promoting their local businesses are instead putting up fees on things such as table and chairs licences, and increasing red tape.”
For the full story, see Growth Capital: Brothers who raised quality of the London pub.