St Austell Brewery has been acclaimed the UK’s best tenanted pub company for the sixth time in a row by the harshest of critics – the tenants themselves.

The annual M&C Allegra (MCA) Tenant Track survey interviews more than 1,200 pub tenants and lessees operating within 13 different pub companies across the country to gain a snapshot of the health of the sector.

This year’s survey by the independent food and drink research agency saw St Austell come out top yet again with “great relationships and support” from the brewery in terms of business controls and Point of Sale equipment driving the company’s success.

The family-run business scored 8.73 out of 10 by tenants asked to rate their pub company, the highest score recorded in the survey, with day-to-day dealings with the brewery rated at 8.92 out of 10, up 13% on 2017.

Retail director, Steve Worrall, said: “We are delighted to have come out top in the latest Tenant Track survey and to have again increased our scores from last time.

“We continue to roll out initiatives that have worked well in our managed estate such as free mystery customer visits and look to provide the best support possible to tenants and their teams with customer service training to help promote best retail practices.”

St Austell Brewery also came out top in three key training categories, including the support it provided for development training, recruitment and company support website, as well as leading the field in terms of its knowledge of both the tenants’ business needs and customers.

The overall quality of the brewery’s business development managers (BDMs), also topped the poll, scoring 9.2, again the highest in the study, and up from 8.7 in 2017.

Reporting the highest weekly turnovers in the survey, food sales continue to be a core revenue stream across the brewery’s estate, with 93% of St Austell tenants reporting selling food, the highest share in the study. Food sales currently make up 42% of sales at St Austell pubs, well above the study average of just 23%.