Pumps primed for growth in British pubs

Demand for craft beer and gin is driving a resurgence, says business adviser BDO

(Image credit: 2006 Getty Images)

Despite the well-publicised difficulties of high-street casual dining chains, pubs and bars are doing rather better, a new report suggests.

While Jamie’s Italian and Byron have been forced to close some outlets, business advisory firm BDO says the long decline in the pub sector is going into reverse. “The booming industry in craft beer and gin continues to attract consumers and create strong returns,” reports the Belfast Telegraph.

The good weather has also helped, encouraging people to enjoy a drink in public, as has the unexpected success of the England football team. “Greene King sold half a million extra pints during England’s World Cup thrashing of Panama,” says The Guardian.

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But the resurgence has deeper roots, according to Mark Edwards of BDO. “Quality pubs have proved to be resilient assets,” he says. “They have played an important part in our high streets, cities and local communities for hundreds of years and have successfully adapted to ever-changing consumer demands.

“There are a number of exciting, fast-growing managed pub and bar groups that are likely to be on the radar of investors. Things are definitely looking up.”

They also have a number of advantages over casual dining outlets, including “less competition, higher margin premium products and craft beer, the luxury of having a more flexible operating model without the need for chefs and suffering less impact from food cost inflation”, says trade magazine The Caterer.

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