Drumlithie Inn uses Barclaycard Cash Advance to renovate pub

Drumlithie inn is a newly renovated village pub with delicious food and a wide range of alcholic beverages.


New beginnings

When David and Ian decided to purchase the Drumlithie Inn in January 2020, it hadn’t been updated in about 40 years. After taking ownership of the pub in August 2020, it was in dire need of renovations. Spending their personal savings left over after the purchase of the Inn, they upgraded their commercial kitchen, hired a new chef, and purchased new furniture.

It was a big job. “You name it, we had to do it,” recalls Ian.

After spending a good chunk of their savings on the renovations and facing further Covid lockdowns, David and Ian decided to look into funding to finance the remaining of the updates to the Inn. After looking at traditional finance options and being unable to get what they needed, they decided to look into Revenue Finance.


increase in turnover


new revenue streams

“I filled out a form online, and within an hour or two I heard from Liberis explaining it all, and it was exactly what we were looking for. Within the next day, we had the money.”

Ian Johnson-Oates,
Getting funded fast

Flexing with their cash flow

They found the whole process straightforward. “I filled out a form online, and within an hour or two I heard from Liberis explaining it all and it was exactly what we were looking for. Within the next day, we had the money.”

The Drumlithie Inn was able to secure fast funding allowing them to make some much needed upgrades to their business. “It was exactly what small businesses need. They don’t have time to wait for weeks to get a decision.”

Being able to get the funds in a matter of days, meant they had the cash flow to immediately be able to stock up for functions for the next couple of months, which are typically quite busy for the pub. Purchasing more stock upfront than usual meant they were also able to benefit from economies of scale, saving them additional money in the long run.

“We were able to go and spend £6-7k on stock, which we’ve never been able to do before. We were also able to get a lot more freebies from the breweries.”

A percentage split of the card sales is agreed upfront. This comes off their revenue automatically, reducing admin time and keeping things fuss-free. “We didn’t miss the money at all. I like the idea that with Liberis the money that goes into your bank is what you’ve got left. You’re not looking at your bills, thinking I need to pay another £300.”

Being in the hospitality industry, the funding was ideal for the pub where not all weeks are equally busy. “Things were so uncertain over Covid – some weeks we were busy, some weeks we weren’t.” With payments being a percentage of card sales, it meant that if things were busier, they’d pay more, and less if things were a little quieter. There was no need to stress over slower weeks.

Scaling for success

Gearing up for the busy season

When David and Ian first took over the Inn, there was no food service. They’ve now expanded to include a function room and a commercial kitchen allowing them to host large social gatherings such as weddings. “We had to invest in things like linen tablecloths and more crockery to allow us to do these bigger functions. It’s growing constantly, and it was brilliant to be able to do that.”

The Barclaycard Business Cash Advance was also instrumental in helping David and Ian to diversify their revenue streams and in turn grow the business. Looking forward, they now own all of these assets so they can continue benefiting for future events.

David and Ian recently renewed their finance with Liberis, so they can prep for the busy upcoming months. “The next four months is the busiest time in the pub industry, and we’re pretty much full up until Christmas. We’re so busy the next four months, the increase in turnover should offset that.”

While personally investing over £250k into the business, additional funding has allowed them to continue growing. Since taking over the Inn, they’ve managed to increase turnover by 58%. They credit this success to having access to funding to invest in the future of their business.

This additional cash was invested in upgrading the premises and purchasing additional stock. They’ve been able to improve their entertainment and food offerings and attract more customers.

The support they received during the process was just what they needed as a small business. “All the staff you speak to at Liberis, they all understand.” Typically, small businesses face barriers to lending such as long application times and inflexible payment structures with traditional lenders. The Barclaycard Business Cash Advance, in partnership with Liberis, addresses these to better support small businesses like the Drumlithie Inn.

Being able to offer a solution to small business owners like David and Ian, has meant they’ve been able to successfully grow their business, a trend which they expect to continue as they invest more into the Inn. “All in all, it was such an easy process.”

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