Catch up on some of the key trends, opportunities and challenges facing the pub industry in this bonus episode of the 2019 PUBcast

Together with some of the very best pub operators, drink producers, writers and educators in the industry, Emma Inch will discuss the ways pubs are responding to the demands of the modern pub goer, including pub food, drinks, experiences, tradition and technology.

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Pub Grub

From our trends survey in conjunction with Fever-Tree, the findings show that a vast majority of punters think that pubs should be offering a variety of different food to their customers. Although classic pub grub is still important, people want more choice in terms of vegetarian and vegan options. Today’s pub goers also want to know more about what they’re eating, including the provenance of their food and how sustainable it is.

If we have the name of the boat the fish was caught into, the customers love to know that and ask questions… its great we have that interaction with the customers and that’s the point of difference for us” – Jocelyne Neve


As more people are drinking less, pubs need to extend their drink offering to include alcohol-free options, as well as training their staff to have an understanding of the options to be able to sell it. Customers appreciate it when staff spend the time going through all the non-alcoholic options, as it demonstrates to an often-underserved market that thought has been put into it, which in turn can inspire loyalty.

 “If you can’t sell an alcohol-free drink, it’s not the fault of the drink, it’s because you’re not confident enough about that product to know who to sell it to.” - Laura Willoughby


Nowadays, people can have access to good food, inexpensive drinks, and a variety of entertainment options without leaving the comfort of their own home, so they  need a reason to go to pubs. There are many ways in which pubs can provide experiences to attract and engage customers, from fun activities to themed experiences. Sometimes it can just be as simple as providing a warm welcome!

“An experience can be something as little and simple as having a lovely chat with somebody behind the bar or having a giggle about something.” – Jane Peyton

Tradition vs Technology

Technology is driving change in most areas of our lives, including the common pub, and with this rise in popularity, it is difficult for pubs to balance authenticity and tradition - whilst trying to keep up with the changing consumer demands. Pub goers enjoy their traditional boozers and country inns, however, technology can be used to enhance quality of service, provide experience evenings, and allow pubs to interact with their customers through social media. 

“We spend a lot of time and effort on social media. We’re talking to our followers and the people that actually interact with us and those who come to our pubs and bars.” - Nigel Owen

To hear the highlights of how pubs are responding to the changing consumer, listen to the episode: The Top Trends of 2019

A huge thank you to all the below leading publicans and industry experts that featured in the 2019 PUBcast:

  • Joycelyn Neve – founder and director of the Seafood Pub Company
  • Geetie Singh-Watson – founder of The Duke of Cambridge
  • Lee Cash – founder of Peach Pubs
  • Lucy Gaskin - food marketing manager at Fuller, Smith & Turner
  • Craig Harper - on-trade manager at Fever-Tree
  • Laura Willoughby - co-founder & MD of Club Soda
  • Pete Brown - award-winning author & broadcaster
  • Alistair Hargreaves - co-founder of Wolfpack Lager
  • Jane Peyton - founder and principal of School of Booze
  • Oisin Rogers - general manager of The Guinea Grill
  • David Cunningham – programme director of Long Live the Local
  • Nigel Owen - founder and director of Mother Kelly's
  • Danny Hoskin – sales director of Bedlam Brewery
  • Tom Seaton – founder of Crate Brewery

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