Tony Pilley, Regional Operations Director

What has been your career journey with Punch?

“I joined the Spirit Group in October 2005 as HR Business Partner, with responsibility for the Family Division, including Two For One venues and Wacky Warehouses.   The priority was to work closely with the Regional Operations Directors and Area Managers to develop strategies to drive the success of the Division. One of the key successes was introducing a management training programme to identify and develop the very best deputy and assistant managers and get them ready to take on their own pub business.

Eighteen months later, I took on an office-based role, heading up recruitment for Spirit and focusing on creating recruitment processes and strategies for the managed business.  It was great to have an opportunity to lead the ‘One Team, One Contract’ project to bring some 12,000 pub employees onto a single contract.

In 2008, I took on the role of National HR Business Partner for the Leased and Tenanted estate, working closely with the Operations leadership team to help drive better performance, succession planning and focusing particularly on developing the Operations team.

In 2011, when Punch’s leased business de-merged from Spirit, I became Head of HR with responsibility for leading the HR team to support and drive performance of a smaller, independent business.

Then, in 2015, my career took a change of direction when I moved into a field based, operational role as Regional Operations Director, responsible for turning around some of our underperforming businesses.

In early 2018, when the company was re-structured following its acquisition by Patron and May Capital, I took the role of Regional Operations Director for the North West and look forward to this next chapter!”

What support and development have you had in your time at Punch?

“The major development opportunity has been the ability to work closely with individuals at both a regional and head office level. I have been able to interact at all levels of the business, which has helped me to establish a greater understanding and see how different departments function and how their perspectives and expertise impact the business.   I have been lucky to have been able to work closely with the Executive Board in my HR and Operational roles and they have all been very supportive of my progression and development.

My various roles have enabled me to take on a range of different responsibilities and get involved in some large-scale business change programmes including the de-merger of Punch from Spirit. I’ve also benefitted from a number of personal coaching sessions from senior members of the business and also internal and external training programmes, predominantly aimed at leadership and personal development.”

What is it like working for Punch?

“It’s a fantastic industry to be part of and Punch is a very sociable place to work.  People genuinely want to deliver and do a great job and I’ve experienced lots of support. Individuals in Punch have great working relationships and respect for one another, which has certainly helped me really enjoy my 12 years with the business. I am really excited about the future with Punch.

Would you recommend working for Punch to others?

“Yes, absolutely!”