The cost of a pub main course is around 15p cheaper than a year ago despite food inflation, research has found.
The Pubtrack survey, compiled by market analysts Nielsen, found the average cost of a main course has decreased from £5.93 to £5.77 in the year to March 2009, a drop largely attributed to a rise in meal deals and discount offers.
While sandwich sales at pubs fell by 10% year-on-year from £133m to £120m, the total customer spend on main meals increased year-on-year from £1.9b to just over £2b.
The report, commissioned by supplier the Authentic Food Company, found that spend on starters, desserts and side dishes also increased and food now accounts for 40% of managed pub sales.
While international flavours are increasing traditional British meals still account for 85% of pub menus, reported The Publican.
Research last year revealed that UK consumers are willing to fork out more than a third than they usually would on a pub meal to guarantee a high standard of service, food and atmosphere.
A survey of 1,000 consumers, for American Express's 2008 Hospitality Monitor, showed that punters would be willing to pay an extra £3.50 on an average £10.20 meal.
By Emma White
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