Punters at pubs in Yorkshire and the North East rank like their locals to remain primarily watering holes, but higher quality food as the number one reason why they would visit pubs or bars more than they currently do, with over one in five saying it has the greatest influence.
The findings come in the latest Mintel research that estimates that total pub turnover has risen by 10% between 2010 and 2014, driven largely by the transformation of traditional boozers into dining establishments.
Customers in the North East visit pubs almost 50% more often than the national average, with 31% visiting a pub or bar at least once a week, compared to a national average of 21% and just 16% in the South West and Wales.
The area is keenest to see pubs remaining mainly places for drinking. While posh nosh has been helping to attract people back to pubs over the past few years, just under one in 10 (9%) consumers in Yorkshire and the North East ranked higher quality food as the number one reason that would make them more likely to visit pubs or bars more than they currently do, compared to a national average of almost a quarter (22%) who said the same.
“Yorkshire and the North East have particularly strong links to the beer industry, and ale in particular, helping to support category volume sales. Despite the many recent changes to the pub industry, many consumers still prize more traditional features and see it as a place to meet and drink rather than somewhere to dine. Today, pubs have evolved and are now putting a greater emphasis on food to offset volume declines of drinks. That higher-quality food is the most likely factor to entice consumers to boost how often they go to the pub – ahead even of cheaper drinks – underlines the increasing importance of food to the industry.”