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How Is Adaptability Fuelling a Bounce-Back for the UK Pub?

Pubs have enjoyed a resurgence throughout the UK in recent years. The “wet-led” business model is no longer enough – the contemporary public house needs to be a multi-purpose venue. We explore how adaptability is driving the bounce-back and transforming pubs and inns from traditional to crossover venues.

Events

Pubs and inns are versatile spaces and one of the best ways in which they can adapt is to become multi-purpose venues. Offering space for private parties, corporate events, gaming, comedy or music can draw in new customers and help to make pubs relevant for punters seeking other forms of entertainment.

Launching in 2016, The London Underground’s 24-hour service has helped to kick start the concept of the pub as a crossover venue in London. London’s night-time economy is worth as much as £26bn a year; the ability to carry out all-day trade has helped more public houses to stay in business and enjoy a new lease of life as late night entertainment venues. With this in mind, a location nearby a tube station can be enormously beneficial to the new generation of pubs, raising their revenue and making pubs for sale a more profitable market than ever before.

Local Hub

The rural pub is often the most active business within a village. Offering a diversified range of useful services, local inns such as the Kings Arms in Winkleigh can become the local hub for the community. From movie nights to children’s play areas, adapting services to the needs of the community can help to increase sales and foot traffic.

Rural pubs are also well-placed to offer more substantial services. Some have integrated their local post office, helping to revitalise the typically quiet morning hours, while others have opened a local village shop, creating a focal point for the community.

Food

Over the last five years there’s been a massive increase in the number of “food-led” pubs, such as the Leaping Salmon pub in Horraridge. From sophisticated in-house restaurants to gourmet supper clubs, the transformation of the pub into a venue where you can go for a good meal is an important recent trend and another key factor behind the resurgence of the industry.

Michael Easton, Associate Director, Hospitality and Retail Group, JLL, said: “Dealing with pub sites throughout the West Country we have certainly witnessed a noticeable step up from pub owners to provide both higher quality and choice in their venues.

“We have also seen a rise in sites offering a multitude of services who have garnered support and funding from such groups as ‘The Pub is the Hub’ which unlocks potential for the pub to offer alternate services such as post office counter and retail offers.

“It is certainly the case that pubs have come a long way in the past 10 years and through improving their offer there is positive growth predicted both in terms of revenue and ultimately resale values.”