James Moore: The pub is pricing itself out of the market

James Moore
Wednesday 05 September 2012 21:08

Outlook The decision by Olympic organisers to trial east London's first £8-plus pint (ok, that's an equivalent through adding up a couple of £4.30 bottles of Heineken) generated considerable annoyance. But is that really so expensive when compared to the average London pub? Figures suggest they're rapidly catching up.

The Morning Advertiser has reported that the average price of a pint of bitter ticked up by an inflation-busting 4.6 per cent over the last year to £2.80. In London it has hit £3.38.

A pub pint is becoming a luxury purchase and the supermarkets are cashing in as a result.

With household budgets under continuing pressure and more pain to come, the British pub is pricing itself out of what its customer base can afford faster than Oscar Pistorius in a 400m race. No wonder every week brings a closure.

At times like these the industry tends to knock on the Chancellor's door, and it does have a case for complaint. Number 11 imposes a welter burden of costs.

But that's only part of the problem. This is an industry which has suffered from chronic mismanagement and too many pub companies still have to spend too much money servicing debt. Which leads to prices that have to be set too high for the average consumer to stomach.

Is the industry calling last orders? Not yet, but it needs to act, because the last-chance saloon won't stay open long.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments