Recently I was in a predicament of having to locate an eatery for breakfast, my local farm cafe was shut for refurbishment meaning we were on the hunt for an alternative. Fortunately our local Toby Carvery was open and serving, £3.99 was a very fair price with the added benefit of not having that cramped, canteen style high street cafe feel.
Over the past decade the pub sector has had to adapt to changes in consumer trends. Challenges including the smoking ban, licensing legislation, tax rises and the recession all played a part in driving change.
Camra Managing director Peter Backman said: “Many operators have responded to trading challenges by looking at new opportunities and serving food throughout the day. The real winners have been snacking and the breakfast market. We think the two will grow considerably over the next few years.”
Food sales in managed pubs are outperforming the rest of the UK’s eating-out sector on the back of keen pricing, effective marketing and a broadening of their offering to appeal to a wider consumer-base.
Food-led pubs now hold a 22 per cent share of the pub, restaurant and quick-service markets, “Consumers are choosing to eat in pub-restaurants over other types of restaurant and this trend is likely to continue over the next few years”.
The sector has been able to increase its share of food sales by successfully adjusting to changing consumer demand. Breakfast, for example, has become a growing revenue stream, accounting for 6 per cent of all managed pub meals, with sales now worth £280m a year.
“This sector has become a significant eating out market that is distinct from other sectors by offering consumers a product, service and atmosphere that they can’t get elsewhere.”
Mitchells & Butlers, the largest managed pub operator, sells more food in total than the biggest restaurant operators, with 48 per cent of its total sales accounted for by food.
I was both surprised and won over by my experience, the branded restaurant sector is lagging behind pub chains who have been forward thinking, adaptable and innovative in driving food. So whether you decide to go for a Toby Breakfast or Wetherspoon Beer and a Burger remember your party to the big food revolution that is the Pub-Restaurant.