Harvester has seen an overall boost to visits following a refresh at many of its remaining sites, according to data from MCA’s Pub Brand Monitor (Q1 2018).

It comes despite a dip in consumer awareness of the brand in the year to March 2018, from 79% to 77%, following Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) conversion of its poorer performing Harvester sites into Miller & Carter – its premium steakhouse concept.

The report found that pubs were the most visited channel for out-of-home dinners, growing share of this day part by 0.4pp to 28% of visits, however there is a greater challenge at lunchtime with levels dropping 1.1pp to 17%, as competition from sandwich shops, cafes and coffee shops increases.

Harvester made the top two pub brands behind JD Wetherspoon, in terms of share of visits at both lunch and dinner – growing share at each – and rose to third position at breakfast, ahead of fellow M&B chain All Bar One.

The proportion of pub visits occurring at JD Wetherspoon rose across all meal occasions, representing up to half of all breakfast visits, three-tenths at lunch and a fifth at dinner, with a lot of this growth down to its ability to convert ‘considerers’ into actual visitors.

Meanwhile there were clear signs of improvement at Whibread’s Beefeater brand following a programme of brand, site and menu refreshment, which has helped lift its share of visits at lunch and dinner, and achieved a rising NPS at every mealtime.