Consumers in the UK have cited higher-quality food as the number one reason for visiting pubs more often, according to the latest research by Technomic. The report found that consumers are nearly three times as likely to prefer food-led pubs over wet-led pubs, while 42% of consumers place high importance on new or unique menu items or flavours offered at pubs against 29% that feel an extensive draught beer list is of high importance. Although many consumers seek contemporary, sophisticated dishes, the report found that nearly two-thirds (64%) prefer pub menus to feature a mix of traditional dishes along with contemporary options. The survey also showed that opportunities exist for operators to offer longer service hours and create a new revenue channel through takeaway programmes, with 29% of consumers stating that late-night food menus were a service pubs could offer. The research also found that changes in the evolving pub sector are attracting a broader base of consumers and attracting more young consumers, 52% of which say they are visiting pubs more often compared to a year ago. However, 39% percent of consumers say they are visiting pubs less often than they did a year ago in the midst of a sluggish economy. Technomic managing director Darren Tristano, said: “Consumers expect pubs to offer high-quality foods, despite the established perception of traditional pub fare. Pubs aren't just a place to grab a pint anymore. By broadening their menu items and adjusting their concept positioning, new day parts such as breakfast, can attract couples and families choosing pubs as a viable dining option.”

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