VisitEngland has teamed up with the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) to launch a new quality accreditation scheme for pubs.
The scheme will measure quality of service, welcoming atmosphere, food and cleanliness, for pubs with or without accommodation. However, pubs will be asked to pay an annual fee to take part, and then receive a mystery visit from an assessor who will test 'all aspects of the customer experience'. BBPA member pubs are eligible for a discount.
James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said the new accreditation is intended to help strengthen the overall quality of pubs for both domestic and overseas visitors. 'I am delighted to welcome this new Quality Assessment Scheme for pubs, which has been developed in partnership with our friends at the British Beer and Pub Association,' he said.
'Pubs are an intrinsic part of our English heritage and a huge tourism asset for overseas visitors. With a focus on improving quality across the board this scheme aims to raise standards, ultimately making the pub visitor experience more enjoyable.'
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: 'Raising standards, and providing the right support in doing so, is a vital challenge for the tourism and hospitality industry. This new quality standard demonstrates VisitEngland's great commitment to putting pubs right at the heart of its work, and we were delighted to work closely with them in its development.'
VisitEngland will award special accolades annually for ‘Top Performers’ in areas such as Welcome. VisitEngland has also issued a quality standards book for pubs wishing to take part.
Pic: James Berresford, chief executive VisitEngland and Brigid Simmonds chief executive British Beer and Pub Association at the Red Lion pub Westminster. Photograph: Rosie Hallam