A few years ago UK pubs started to struggle against the trendy coffee shop and were becoming less than favourable when it came to eating out. However, a recent report by MCA revealed how things have started to change. Their report showed that pubs remain consumer’s top choice for lunch and have grown in popularity for dinner, becoming the go to choice, ahead of fast food and independent restaurants. So we decided to take a look at the reasons why pubs are still the on the forefront of consumers minds and why their popularity remains strong.
Pubs have become excellent at adapting to current trends and ensuring their menu reflects what consumers want. Recently the number of consumers converting to veganism has risen significantly and both independent and chain pubs have adapted their menus to include vegan friendly options. Some of those to update their offering with vegan options are both City Pub Group and Greene King, who as of June have added nine different vegan meals.
Traditionally pubs were the go to place to catch up over a beer and ordering anything other than a pint was out of the ordinary. Since the rise of coffee shops pubs have been somewhat forced to diversify their drinks offering to attract the wider market. Nevertheless they have risen to the occasion with the majority now offering a variety of freshly brewed coffee, speciality teas and a variety of non-alcoholic drink options. By diversifying the drinks menu pubs have once again become the favoured place to catch up with friends.
The pub quiz remains a favourite British pastime and operators are continuing to expand their entertainment offering as even more incentive to visit. Local pubs now host everything from live sports and karaoke to comedy nights and beer pong tournaments. Events are not only a good way for pubs to stay fresh but they also bring in new customers and encourage word of mouth promotion.
Pubs ability to stay consumer’s top choice for lunch and dinner largely comes from the expansion of their food offering. Gone are the days of limited choice and the same menu year after year, instead pubs are now capitalising on crowd favourites, such as pizza and burgers. For example Young’s implemented a Burger Shack concept across several of their sites in 2015 and immediately saw huge success. Another brand that benefitted from bringing in a new food concept was Wetherspoons who decided to add pizzas to their menu.