Pubs heighten focus on food
Pub owners are enhancing their food offering to counter the impact of smoking bans and falling consumer demand on gaming revenues and patronage, according to a recent survey.
A survey by Colliers International of pub/hotel operators in October discovered that gaming had taken a hit in the past year, with operators strengthening their food offering to make up for the lost revenue and improve their revenue mix.
The survey found bar sales remained the key to most businesses, with gaming trailing in second place. Food and bottle shop sales represented the other two major revenue drivers. The growth in food sales had been strong and was expected to continue by the majority (58%).
Alcohol sales also were strong for the year, with bar sales anticipated by respondents to be the ‘key area of opportunity’ (45%). Just under a third suggesting gaming would be their primary growth sector and a quarter said food sales would provide the greatest boost.
The improvement of food at pubs has been a noticeable trend over recent years, particularly since the introduction of gastropubs. Many have opted to alter the way their business operates with separate areas set-up to provide consumers with the choice between traditional pub fare and something more akin to a restaurant.