Wednesday, 18 August 2010

It's official: food now the most important element of a pub's trade.

With the ever rising duty on alcohol, the dangerously low price of drinks available in the large super-markets, VAT set to rise in the New Year, the smoking ban, as well as the increased pressures on all small businesses not only through the recession but also the ever increasing amount of bureaucratic inviolvement in the day-to-day operation, it is little wonder that pub landlords have been forced to think long and hard about their business models in recent months and years.

Indeed the pubcos themselves are now urging their tenants (with little real assistance, it seems) to turn to alternative revenue streams, and to 'broaden their horizons' in an effort to stay solvent.

So it can come as no surprise that there is now clear evidence that the main trade of the average pub is now food as opposed to the retail sale of alcohol. The Publican Market Report 2010 ( reports that food now makes up 52% of the average pub's trade. Gone are the days when a pub's only food offering might be some 3 day old ham sandwiches and a packet of nuts! Now it is often the case that you can find a higher standard of food offering at your local, than at many more 'traditional' restaurants, with more and more pubs turning to seasonal, locally sourced, good quality ingredients combined to produce some excellent Modern British menus.

Why do I mention this?

It's for the pub 'purists', I guess. We really don't want to upset you by deliverying a strong food offering, but without it, the refurbishment and transformation that the Adam and Eve is currently undergoing would never be possible, and it is more likely than not that the pub would have closed for good in the very near future.

Just a thought.