Few family businesses can say they have spanned 7 generations; such is the feat achieved by Hall and Woodhouse, brewers of award-winning Badger Beers and owners of over 250 pubs around the country.
Taking the reins of H&W upon the sudden passing of his brother, Executive Chairman Anthony Woodhouse recalls his father’s advice on the business’ true purpose, and sets a high bar for his son Matt who serves as Commercial Manager.
Family values pump through the veins of the business, treating employees like family and maintaining their big mission: to make people’s day, from the top to the front line. Find out the lessons that only 244 years can teach, and what’s next for Hall and Woodhouse, on the next episode of ‘It Runs In The Family’.
This episode covers:
- Employing the best people in the business, not just providing jobs for family members
- Taking on a leadership role in light of a family passing
- Keeping healthy separation between father and son in the business
- Ensuring continuous innovation to stay relevant in the industry
- Giving your team the right environment in which to thrive
“The fundamental fact is that in order to continue to succeed in our industry, we need to employ the best people. I remember my father saying to me – one of my earliest memories of my father – that ‘H&W’ is not there to provide employment for Woodhouses, it’s there to generate wealth for all stakeholders. ” – 2:40 – Anthony Woodhouse
“My first permanent role was in our business partner operations team as an area manager, so looking after a group of 30 of our business partnership pubs. That was a brilliant role to get me up to speed with pubs, which is the core of our business, and how we do things as a business really.” – 6:29 – Matt Woodhouse
“The realisation I came to is, the business that I decided to join 3 years ago is very different to how it might have looked had my uncle David not died because it’s been run by dad for the last 10 years or so. So I think I’ve never really known the answer to the question whether I would have joined had David not passed away.” – 14:17 – Matt Woodhouse
“I come across Matt no more than I would anyone else in the business. And his reporting lines are different. I’m aware of how he’s getting on, but not particularly much more than any anyone else in the business. So actually, that sort of distancing, having a degree of separation is actually helpful.” – 17:21 – Anthony Woodhouse
“One of the difficulties we have about our business generally, and the work life balance, is that we love going to the pub. And inevitably, even if you’re going for a relaxing occasion, you’re constantly picking up stuff.” – 21:39 – Anthony Woodhouse
“Whoever’s running the business in 10-20 years’ time, if that’s the exact same way it’s being run now then we probably aren’t doing a very good job, because if we hadn’t adapted and innovated, we’re going to be left behind.” – 30:51 – Matt Woodhouse
“Most of my information on Matt will be through third parties, and I will get snippets; I’ll be talking to some of his business partners or someone else who he’s been working with. In a way it feels lovely, because people don’t have to say it, and you can tell when people are being real or not.” – 37:58 – Anthony Woodhouse
“I wouldn’t say I was a brilliant businessman, I just don’t think of it in that way at all. You know, the things that have gone well over the last 10 years since I’ve been involved, has been driven by people that I’ve given the right environment to.” – 40:30 – Anthony Woodhouse
“We’ve been around for nearly 250 years, and we very much want to be around for the next 250 years. If we’re not doing it sustainably and if the planet can’t reach the point of sustainability in the very near future, what’s the point? We might as well be chasing short term profit because the world might blow up in the next 10 years. So we’ve got to do our part in helping the business and everything we touch being sustainable.” – 48:58 – Matt Woodhouse