The food-led pub sector will be worth £19.5 billion within five years, it has been predicted.
Although food has always been part of the pub offering, it is playing a more vital role as operators attempt to keep up with changing consumer tastes and increase expenditure per customer.
A decline in overall drink sales has also led to food taking a greater share of pub sales. It now represents more than 25% of revenues generated by the pub sector.
Accountancy firm Gerald Edelman’s latest Hospitality sector report suggests the food-led pub sector will stabilise overall industry performance and grow at a compound annual rate of 0.5% over the next five years to 2023-24.
The report stated: “Despite the oversupply of the casual dining market limiting the opportunity for growth, businesses such as JD Wetherspoons have made the most of this trend by offering quick and cheap alternatives to restaurant dining.
“Other industry operators have taken different approaches, such as offering a child-friendly menu to encourage demand from families. It is expected that pubs and bars are likely to adapt menus to cater for the increasing health consciousness among consumers.”
Beer remains the industry’s key revenue stream, although it makes up a smaller portion (expected 32.4%) than in the past due to food and other beverages, such as wine, spirits and cider, becoming more popular.
The popularity of premium lagers and craft beers, which are slightly more expensive, alongside the surge in the 2018 World Cup mean that overall beer sales have still grown.