After the explosion of casual dining eateries in towns and busy shopping centres, many had branded this trend as the death of the pub. In 2016 various studies cited this as the ‘casual dining boom’ with more pubs than ever closing.
Fast forward to 2018, this has now come full circle giving pubs a crucial window of opportunity. With many casual dining chains such as Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Café Rouge and Byron Burger all reporting losses within the last year, pubs are being urged to get their act together in order to eat up greater market share.
As Keith Hobbs, managing director of Fresssh Image, a specialist fit out, maintenance and venue design service for the hospitality sector, explains:
“Many of the casual dining establishments that were set to take the market by storm haven’t been able to make the impact they would’ve quite liked to. To combat this, pubs need to invest in their venues both inside and out to capitalise.
“Pubs that offer all-day dining and focus on the customer experience will ultimately seize the day. If you can create a relaxing place where people can eat or drink at their leisure – whether it’s a coffee, brunch, pub lunch or mid-afternoon nibble – you’re onto a winner.
“What many also don’t realise is the importance of the pub garden – it is often the first area of the pub that a customer comes into contact with so making a good first impression is vital. As we move into the summer months, we’re working with many pubs to focus on smart maintenance of their venues.”