The Pub of The Future
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Most of you reading this probably won’t know that before turning this little blog into my full time career, I actually spent 3 years in the commercial world recruiting landlords and landladies for pub companies!
It was my job to find the best pub owners and managers in the UK to come and work for us, listen to their visions of how they thought their pub would look, their marketing strategies for bringing in new customers and their ethos of what they thought running a pub business should be. I loved it!
I’ve heard some very interesting ideas over my time in the pub industry and I’ve also been into some pretty awesome pubs! The pub industry and culture in the UK really is something to be proud of, filled with history and tradition, but there is no doubt that the way we see and use our pubs today is changing.
From back street boozers to swanky wine bars, pubs come in all shapes and sizes and what it takes to make a successful pub, looks totally different in 2019 compared to years gone by. Pubs today are filled with a variety of brands, cocktail menus, complex food offerings, entertainment and social aspects, compared to the rusty pump of un-branded lager, exciting choice of ‘red’ or ‘white’ wine and a crumpled old pack of pork scratchings in pubs of the past!
Our generation use pubs for parent coffee morning meetups, family meals out, wine nights with the girls, quiz nights with friends, beer fuelled rugby watching and even a quiet place to work during the day. Pubs need to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers and to give those customers a good reason to keep coming back to spend their hard earned cash!
Studies show that it’s the younger generation that are using our pubs more and more, so choice, adaptability and style are more important than ever before.
We’re also more health conscious in 2019, and with the vast range of alcohol in supermarkets we can buy to enjoy in our own homes, pubs don’t necessarily equal booze for this generation.
Recent research from Nescafé Azera showed that over 50% of 18-23 years olds would like to see a more interesting range of non-alcoholic drink options in their local pubs. Free wifi, charging points, varied menus, entertainment and a more expansive coffee menu (including iced coffee) were also high up on the list of wants from 18-23 year olds in their local pubs….that crumpled pack of pork scratchings and warm unbranded lager really isn’t looking so great!
The Pub of The Future
So, what does the pub of the future look like to me?
I think pubs need to evolve. Looking at the stats and also how my friendship group and I use pubs, I think they need to be adaptable and multi-faceted for a younger generation.
I see cosy, country-chic studded leather sofas with muted tartan cushions, throws and nice wine glasses. Roaring old fires juxtaposed with modern features like USB charging points on high tables and quiz machines in the corner.
A home cooked menu with seasonal dishes – small but regularly changing choice alongside your traditional pub fare – cooked well with hearty portion sizes.
A large wine menu, simple cocktail offering and a wide range of craft gins, beers and ciders with knowledgeable staff to advise on which drink you should try next! Plus a larger range of non-alcoholic drinks from interesting mocktails, soft drinks and a proper coffee area serving hot and cold specialist coffee. The new (and super trendy) Nescafé® Azera® Nitro Cold Brew Coffee doesn’t even need a trained barista to pour the perfect cup so there’s no excuses!
….oh, and a selection of homemade cake too of course!
Expert tasting nights that people can book on to with a range of gins, ales and wines alongside nibbles that compliment well. Quiz nights, karaoke, parent coffee mornings, soft play, game nights and more all bookable through the pubs own mobile app so you never miss an event!
Child friendly areas, quieter work tables during the day and larger group seating separate from the restaurant so everyone can enjoy their different pub time.
But most of all, I’d like to see us bringing back our landlords and ladies as the proud faces of the pubs they own and run. Running a pub is a lifestyle choice and they work damn hard, so I’d love to see them out the front, chatting to customers at the bar and taking charge of their pub (big or small) once more with pride!
What do you think the pub of the future looks like?