Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Pubs are just "watering holes" for people longing for an alcoholic drink for consumption in a relaxed atmosphere and very little focus is on the quality or variety of "accompaniments" served along with. The so called "Public Houses" so common in the UK became Pubs as an accepted synonym and these establishments were part of the culture in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. There was a time when frequent visits to Pubs, especially in the evening was a part of the living style in these countries. These pubs also served as meeting points for people as they were established even in villages. There are about 50 000 pubs in the UK alone, though their number is declining because of rapid changes in the food business and changing life style of the people. Concerned with this trend there appears to be a conscious effort to transform the face of these Pubs by dramatic improvements in foods served there that can compete with good established restaurants. Here is take on this historical change taking place in the UK.

"As pub foodservice expands, pub chains look to new growth opportunities with an extended mix of food and drink for their customers.  Consumers cite higher-quality food as the number one reason for visiting pubs more often, indicating that high-quality ingredients and premium positioning can drive traffic and sales.  Thirty-nine percent of consumers say they are visiting pubs less often than they did a year ago in the midst of a sluggish economy.  However, changes in the evolving pub sector are attracting a broader base of consumers and attracting more young consumers, 52 percent of which say they are visiting pubs more often compared to a year ago. "Consumers expect pubs to offer high-quality foods, despite the established perception of traditional pub fare," says Technomic Managing Director Darren Tristano. "Pubs aren't just a place to grab a pint anymore.  By broadening their menu items and adjusting their concept positioning, new dayparts such as breakfast, can attract couples and families choosing pubs as a viable dining option."

Probably the old concept that those who come to drink alcoholic beverages do not care for the quality of food served, due to their focus in getting "tipsy", no longer holds good and modern day "drinkers" are more "mature" and realistic in their expectations. If one has to have a decent meal after a couple of drinks, it is quite a task to go hunting for a good restaurant and as driving under the influence of alcohol is an offence there are logistical and legal problems. However when alcohol is consumed along with food it can be expected to metabolize faster and this gives the necessary opportunity to the Pub to serve good foods making the customers stay with them longer. The Pub owners in the UK seem to have grasped the significance of this realism, changing their strategy by offering high quality foods to expand their clientele. This trend is likely to emerge in other countries also and eventually the distinction between Pub and a restaurant may get blurred over a period of time.


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