Pubs losing £700m to poor beer quality

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

07 April 2017

Pubs are missing out on an average of £14,600 profit per year each, as a direct result of poor beer quality according to a new report.

The lost revenue comes from a combination of waste, missed till yield, over-ranging and low throughputs, equipment and cellar maintenance failings and lost sales through reduced visits and repeat purchase. It equates to a total loss of £709m a year, according to The Beer Quality Report 2017, compiled by Vianet and Cask Marque.

The industry could achieve an extra £206m through reducing waste based on pints priced at £3.50; £182m from additional sales through delivering a consistently good quality pint; and could save £73m through reducing over-ranging and wasted beer taps on the bar.

The report also found that pubs that serve beer through clean lines, on average sell 63 barrels more a year, than those that sell less than half via clean lines. This equates to £63,500 at a retail selling price of £3.50 per pint. One third of cellars are outside recommended temperature specification. And that pubs are over ranging by an average three pumps.

The report also found that the average annual difference in beer volumes of pubs that serve almost all beer via clean lines (between 90-100% of beer) and those that serve less than half (40-50%) via clean lines is 63 barrels.

The report was compiled through measurements collected from Vianet devices in pubs and cellars, and backed by quality scores from Cask Marque’s annual visits to more than 22,000 pubs.

Paul Nunny, director of Cask Marque, said: 'Cask Marque has spent nearly 20 years banging the drum about beer quality and still the message is not getting through to the retailer. This is a damning report on the quality offer to consumers.

'Findings from our own recent research showed that 49% of pubs are not meeting Cask Marque standards.'

Steven Alton, managing director of Vianet, said the untapped profit could help business offset the flurry of increased business costs facing the trade.

'This report lays bare the profit opportunity for all operators across the pub sector, regardless of whether they run managed, tenanted or independent outlets. With a raft of new business costs hitting the industry this year…profitability is under pressure like never before.

'Draught beer remains in value growth and beer still accounts for about seven in 10 drinks sold in pubs. However, the findings in our report provide a much-needed reality check and demonstrate the category’s continued health could be threatened by quality failings.'



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