Tide turns on pub closures

Finally, some much needed good news for pubs. The tide is turning on pub closures as customers shun restaurants for a lavish meal in their local, a report has claimed.

According to the authors of the 2013 Good Pub Guide, which lists 4,700 pubs, publicans are seeing an upturn in trade as they get good value pub fare back on the menu for those looking to eat out. The Daily Telegraph reported that the Guide’s co-editor Fiona Stapley said: “Although it is extremely hard work, for the first time in over 10 years most landlords and landladies have been more upbeat.

“People are choosing to spend weekends away in country pubs and customers like to eat out in pubs as opposed to restaurants because the atmosphere is more informal – and the food is just as good, if not better.”

In April this year the Telegraph reported that a dozen pubs a week were closing across the UK, blamed largely on a 42 per cent increase in beer duty since 2008.

The Cock in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, the winner of this year’s Good Pub Guide Pub of the Year, has bucked the trend, in part thanks to a strong menu that includes dishes such as guinea fowl breast stuffed with truffle mousse and homemade sausages.

Whilst this is good news for pubs it also presents a major challenge. To take advantage of this trend they need to provide high quality meals for customers and many do not have the culinary skills necessary or cannot afford to buy them in with money so tight.

This is a great opportunity for foodservice suppliers to fill a gap in the market with high quality meal solutions that are simple to prepare and meet consumers’ growing expectations of modern pub food. The days of pub grub are numbered.

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