The latest Pub Brand Monitor from MCA has shown that despite site closures over the past year and a fall in its share of breakfast and dinner visits, JD Wetherspoon remains the market leader.

The group’s huge outlet count lead over even its nearest branded rivals ensures a similarly sizeable lead in share of visits at all three day-parts as well, the Brand Monitor for the year ending March 2017 shows.

At breakfast, JDW has seen its share of breakfast visits fall from 48.3% last year to 47.2% this year – but still dwarfs second placed Toby Carvery, which has 7.1%. At lunch, JDW has increased its share from 23.4% to 23.6% of visits and at dinner the share is down from 18.6% last year to 17.6% (with Harvester in second place on 5.7%).

JDW is ranked second by consumers for value for money, behind Toby Carvery, with an average score of 8.6 - greater than the 8.3 for total pubs. Average visit spend in JD Wetherspoon is the lowest of all the major pub brands at every meal-time.

Across the pub brands tracked, average spend per breakfast visit has grown year-on-year from £5.67 to £6.13. At lunch it is up from £11.33 to £12 and at dinner it has risen from £16.87 to £17.72.

The monitor has good news for Mitchells & Butlers in both its All Bar One and Toby Carvery brands. The former has increased its share of visits at all three meal day-parts, and is now the third most visited pub brand for breakfast. All Bar One is one of only four of the Top 15 pub brands to have grown share of visits at breakfast, which the report suggested this has been supported by M&B placing particular focus on developing this day-part over the last couple of years.

Toby Carvery has also shown a strong performance over the last year, gaining share of lunch and dinner pub visits. It is the top rated of the major pub brands by customers for food quality/taste, value for money and overall experience.

Brewers Fayre had a stronger rate of conversion from those considering the brand to those actually visiting at breakfast and dinner over the last year than in the previous year. Increasing conversion has driven substantial growth in share of visits at both breakfast and dinner for the brand. The report says this is a sign the brand was clearly benefitting from its close association with Premier Inn.

While Brewers Fayre lost share of pub lunch occasions, it has remained within the Top 5 pub brands at all day-parts, falling from fourth place to fifth in terms of share of lunch pub visits, now accounting for 3.4%, down from 3.8%, and overtaken by Hungry Horse.

The report says: “Whitbread should be wary of a decreasing score awarded by Brewers Fayre consumers for value for money, now below that of total pubs; particularly as Brewers Fayre has the greatest average spend per head per visit of the major pub brands at breakfast, at £7.83, and a higher average spend than that of total pubs at lunch.”

In the Greene King stable, awareness of Chef & Brewer amongst pub consumers has fallen 1pp to 38% year-on-year, but there has been growth in this measure for other Greene King brands, Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill, and Fayre & Square. All four appear in the Top 15 pub brands at dinner, with Chef & Brewer and Hungry Horse more popular than previously; Chef & Brewer also has a higher share of lunch occasions, up from 0.9% to 1.2%.

The Pub Brand Monitor give an in-depth analysis of performance across brands and dayparts, as well as exploring the audience for each and what is driving visits.

To find out more about MCA’s suite of reports and trackers, please contact sophie.barber@mca-insight.com