James Watt: BrewDog sees 15-fold increase in job applications following the announcement of its profit-sharing sheme

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

BrewDog has seen a 15-fold increase in job applications in the past 24 hours, following the announcement of its profit-sharing sheme 

Earlier this week, the co-founder unveiled the plans, which will see the company's 1,500 hourly-paid bar workers receive 50 percent of everything their venue earns every six months, in cash - increasing their salaries by £3,000-£5,000 a year on average.

Additionally, James Watt said he would issue 3.7 million of his own shares to BrewDog's 750 salaried staff to a value of £100m over the course of the next four years starting in June.

Under the scheme, employees at the independent Scottish brewing company will be offered free stock options worth £120,000, reducing the co-founder's stake from 24.2 percent to 19.2 percent.

'A new type of hospitality model'

James Watt told PA Media that both decisions are about “looking forward with a fantastic team,” to create a “new type of business.”

“It will help with every element of our company – recruitment, retention and team engagement.

“Ultimately it’s about ownership. We want our team members to act as business owners and incentivise them as if they are business owners,” he said.

No IPO before 2023

Though currently valued around £1.8 billion, BrewDog has no plans to go public imminently as it is still bouncing back from the reputational damage caused by an open letter penned by a group of ex-employees calling themselves Punks with Purpose last year. They accused the company's founder of presiding over a "culture of fear" and a "toxic working environment."

The accusations led to the appointment of a culture consultancy firm to conduct an independent review of the company, as well as hiring ex-Asda boss Allan Leighton as a non-executive chairman.

In another blow, earlier this year the company and its co-founder were portrayed in a poor light in a BBC Scotland documentary, 'The Truth About BrewDog' for which James Watt is pursuing legal action - even hiring a private investigator to look into how some of the information was obtained.

With an initial public offering potentially on the cards next year, the co-founder said he hoped the changes to the business would help draw a “blueprint for a new type of hospitality model."

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 5th May 2022

James Watt: BrewDog sees 15-fold increase in job applications following the announcement of its profit-sharing sheme