Stonegate, the UK’s largest pub chain is to charge drinkers more at the busiest times with the introduction “dynamic” surcharges that make a pint of beer 20p more expensive on the weekend.
The group is said to be increasing prices when its venues are busiest to help cover the cost of washing glasses, extra staff, supplying plastic cups and venue security.
The group has introduced what is being dubbed “dynamic pricing” at an estimated 800 sites across the country, matching higher prices to higher footfall.
Stonegate, which operates over 4,500 licensed businesses, initially brought in additional charges during major sports tournaments like the Fifa World Cup in 2018 and 2022, but has since made them permanent during “peak trading”.
According to media reports, Signs have been left in Stonegate pubs running the scheme, which aim to inform customers about why drinks may be more expensive.
These signs read: “Dynamic price is currently live in this venue during peak trading season. Any increase in our price today is to cover these additional requirements: To ensure we have enough staff so you’re served quickly, additional door staff for your safety, satisfying and complying with licensing requirements, extra cleaning routines and use of polycarbonate glasses. Thank you for your cooperation”.
A spokesman said “on occasions pricing may marginally increase due to increased cost demands”, including additional staffing.