Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A landlady's tale

Patsy Lowe is just one of the thousands of landlords across the country working hard to keep pubs open and thinks they need to focus on being the centre of their local communities.

We ask what life is really like as a village landlady.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A day at Piddle Brewery

Despite the rapid increase in pub closures over the last few years the popularity of 'real ale' is going from strength to strength.

We take you on a journey through the Brewing process at a visit to Piddle brewery in Dorset.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The results are in!

Results of a survey into people’s drinking preferences in pubs have shown that poor customer service is a key factor.

100 pub goers were questioned by this site with results showing that poor customer service, bad food and a poor atmosphere were the main reason drinkers were staying away.

Suzzanah White from The Thimble Inn encouraged landlords to: “Listen to your villagers and try and accommodate what they want.”

“Encourage everybody to come in to the pub and do different events, special suppers or something.”

The top factors attracting people to the pub were socialising with friends and experiencing the pub atmosphere.

Steve Howe from the British Institute of Inn keeping said: “Do the simple things well, go back to basics and look at all aspects of the customer journey in your outlet and remember that it is a business.”

Give a good welcome and make people feel that that you appreciate that they are spending their hard earned money in your establishment.”

The results also showed that the impact of the smoking ban has dwindled in recent years with 51% of people questioned thinking the issue was totally irrelevant.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Landlords call for relax on smoking ban

A new campaign launched this morning is urging the government to allow smokers back into pubs across Britain.

The Save our Pubs & Clubs campaign wants landlords to be able to provide specially ventilated rooms in their pubs for smoking.

Celebrity chef Antony Worrell Thompson is supporting the campaign; "The smoking ban has had an extraordinarily detrimental effect on pubs and clubs.

The legislation as it stands is excessive and I would like to see it amended."

The campaign has the backing of MPs from a range of parties.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming said: “We need to amend the law so it is fair to smokers and non-smokers alike and doesn't compromise the future of pubs and clubs."

However the campaign has already been met with criticism.

Popular pub group Wetherspoons who ended smoking in their pubs before the ban feel it is time for pub owners to move on.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “I don’t think it is a good enough reason for saying that pubs are not doing well.”

“People have to realise that it is here to stay and it is not an excuse.”

Friday, 19 June 2009

Drinkers worried about pennies not pounds

Figures from the Department of Health show that male drinkers are more worried about the price of Beer than its impact on their health.

While the ‘know your limits’ survey revealed that 37% of men would cut back on drinking to reduce the calories they consume, 44% were concerned about rising prices.

Public health minister, Gillian Merron, said: “It is encouraging that they are also thinking about their health.

Men who drink too much are at risk of conditions such as liver disease and stroke, as well as getting out of shape.”

Last week the British Beer and Pub association revealed that British drinkers are paying tax of nearly 46 pence per pint, the third highest in Europe.

Neil Williams from the BBPA said: “it’s a pretty dire situation. We’ve had an 18% increase in beer duty last year and another 2% in the spring budget.”

Only Finland and Ireland impose higher levels of tax, while consumers in France and Germany pay under 7 and 5 pence per pint respectivley.

Steve Howe from the British Innkeeping Institute said; “it certainly would appear to be unfair, we are heavily taxed to the point of it being a penal tax.”

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Pub Tie under the spotlight

As part of an ongoing theme Owenlane will be publishing a series of stories looking into the British pub industry. Below is the first;

A national campaign has been launched urging the government to refer the Pub tie between landlords and pub companies to the competition commission.

The Federation for Small Business (FSB) joined forces with the Campaign for a Fair Pint last week arguing that tied tenants have to pay much higher prices for their Beer.

In a statement the Chairman of the FSB Clive Davenport said: “The FSB has been campaigning on this issue on behalf of its publican members since 2004, and it’s time we saw a change."
The campaign follows a Business and Enterprise Select Committee report on the tie, published last month, which recommended an investigation.

The BEC report stated; “the tying of beers, other drinks and ancillary products should be severely limited to ensure that competition in the retail market is restored.”

“Pubcos which not only benefit themselves but support their lessees are likely to stay in business. If pubcos push too hard and are too greedy they will fail.”

However these recommendations are not universally supported, a statement from Punch Taverns, one of Britain’s largest pub companies read; “We strongly believe that the tied pub model provides a fair and equitable approach to sharing risk between ourselves and our licensees.”