Views from the Top: Brian Davidson


Ever wondered who’s behind the brands that you sell? Here’s the fifth of nine of Scotland’s drinks bosses, Star Pubs & Bars’ Operations Director Brian Davidson, with his plans for 2020, including a steer on what he thinks you should be doing with your business.

You’ve been in your current role since February 2018 – what do you most enjoy about it?

Every day is different. Working in Heineken is a great place to be, and with our UK head office based in Edinburgh, Star Pubs
in Scotland gets fantastic support from everyone based there.

Why the drinks industry and what do you love about it?

I was a late entrant to the drinks industry, not ‘time served’ like most of the guys I meet. I’ve loved every minute of it and
have developed a real passion for the on-trade in Scotland (as Susan Young predicted).

How do you plan to drive the business forward in 2020?

Our investment pipeline is very strong again in 2020, and we have approximately £1.5m of capex already onsite in January, including
a flagship investment of The Mercantile in Dundee. We have a fantastic brand portfolio in Star – which will get significant support
this year, especially during the Heineken-sponsored Euros.

What is the best stress-buster?

When I’m not working, I enjoy listening to or watching live music, especially in and around Glasgow.

What advice do you have for licensees?

One, think long term, have a plan and stick to it. Two, Have a forensic knowledge of the local market place they trade in. This changes by the day in Scotland, and there are some amazing businesses to learn from.

If you had a pub what would you call it and why?

The Cowshed (Greenock Morton season ticket holder).

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