Pubs urged to focus on food to offset wet sales decline

30 September 2009 by
Pubs urged to focus on food to offset wet sales decline

Pubs are being urged to focus on food in order to offset the decline in wet-sales and survive the recession.

Research from marketing company CGA Strategy forecasts a 26% decline in wet volumes in wet-led pubs but only a 16.3% increase in numbers of food pubs and restaurants.

The data also revealed that some 16% of wet-led pubs are predicted to close over the next five years unless they find an alternative source of revenue such as food or reducing opening hours.

CGA chief executive Jon Collins said that wine continues to outperform the total alcohol on-trade market while 175ml wine glasses remain most popular amongst 60% of outlets.

"It's far too simplistic to say that volumes are moving from the on-trade to the off-trade," said Collins at last week's annual Wine and Spirit Trade Association's annual conference.

In July the British Beer and Pub Association also released data pointing to the importance of food for the sustainability of pubs.

The BBPA report stated that pubs focusing mainly on selling drink were shutting at a rate of 51 a week while those focusing more on food were closing at one a week.

Branded pubs and café style bars are opening at a rate of two a week. However community pubs are closing at the rate of 40 a week and nine traditional town circuit bars are shutting a week, revealed the report.

"The numbers show that pubs paying attention to a good food offering can give their business some protection from the intense and growing regulatory and tax pressure on alcohol sales," said BBPA communications manager Neil Williams.

Marston's and Travelodge to boost business by co-locating future sites >>

Punch puts another 300 pubs on the market from its turnaround division >>

Mitchell & Butler warns of gloomy outlook for 2010 >>

By Emma White

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