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Case Study: Baa Bar – Creating a clear business strategy for post-pandemic recovery

Founded in 1991 and now employing 120 staff members, Baa Bar is famed for its contribution to the hospitality sector in the City Region.

Like most businesses in the hospitality sector, Baa Bar felt the negative and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore sought business support from Growth Platform.

The restrictions placed on the hospitality sector due to COVID-19 presented a major challenge for the business as it operates with several different venues, each with a different set-up, meaning that the company had to manage the changing requirements for each location separately as a result of licensing restrictions.


Elaine Clarke, CEO of Baa Bar said, “The changes in restrictions led to uncertainty around when we’d be able to reopen, and how we could focus on making sure staff remained engaged. It was important to us to understand how we could ensure our working environment could adapt to the changing needs of the workforce following the pandemic.”

Recognising the challenges the pandemic would pose to the business, Elaine reached out to a business advisor, who recommended that she got in touch with the team at Growth Platform. Having used Growth Platform’s Skills Brokerage Service and Finance Hub previously, Elaine felt confident in the support Growth Platform could provide, describing it as “helpful and easily accessible.”

Elaine commented, “More recently we took part in Growth Platform’s BDO Business Resilience programme where we had two separate two hour in-depth one on one meetings with business and advisory firm BDO, covering both business strategy and resilience. It was extremely useful to be able to take the time to go through the businesses current position and where we could focus on to work towards where we want the business to be in the future. Following the meetings, BDO drafted us a full specialist assessment report which provides tangible results that we can use and discuss at our next board meeting.

“The support we received following the Business Resilience programme has enabled us to determine a clear strategy for the business and refocus our attention to growing the business again.

“We were given insights into our current position and where we could be if we implemented and acted on key learnings found in the report. As a result, we have been able to identify key areas of opportunity and set clear KPIs to grow and leverage these opportunities.”

Throughout the process, Elaine engaged members of her senior team who assisted in developing out the company’s goals further and encouraged a wider team buy in.

When asked about the future of the business, Elaine explained, “We are planning to refinance in April 2022 and the support from the programme has created a clearer vision for how we need to approach that next milestone.

“We also want to develop the business further with the changing times and leverage the support available from Growth Platform to help us work towards expanding and increasing sales.”

About Growth Platform’s BDO Business Resilience Programme:

Growth Platform’s BDO Business Resilience Programme was developed with accounting and business advisory firm BDO, to provide SME leaders in Liverpool City Region with the opportunity to step back from the day-to-day and rethink their approach to challenges so they can turn them into opportunities. To stimulate the local economy within Liverpool City Region and support regional businesses back to growth, BDO deliver a series of workshops for these businesses providing them with the knowledge, insight and tools they need to stabilise and grow and get their businesses back on track amid a turbulent year or so. To find out more about the programme, click here.