Pubs must broaden their appeal to attract more women and families as longer licensing hours fail to translate into bigger profits. Adrian Fawcett, chief operating officer of Punch Taverns, says that customers have been slow to show interest in using the extended licensing hours. A poll commissioned by The British Beer and Pub Association has found that although more than one in five pub customers now stay longer, it does not mean they buy more drinks. Pubs therefore have more overheads to pay but are not experiencing a rise in takings. Many licensees have also found the shift to new licences both expensive and time-consuming. Local community pubs that stay open later are also taking business from late-night chains in town centres, such as Bar Risa and Regent’s Walkabout. However, Tim Clarke, chief executive of community pub chain M&B recently said that the extension of hours had only added around 1% to total annual sales and was unlikely to boost long-term profits. North Walsham in Norfolk, which has the highest ratio of 24-hour licences in the UK, says it has noticed a decline in alcohol-related disorder since the relaxed hours came into effect. Meanwhile, next year’s total smoking ban in English pubs is leading many licensees to consider alternative products and ways of attracting families into their pubs. JD Wetherspoon has increased its profits by serving coffee and opening for breakfast, making it rival Caffé Nero in terms of sales. Financial Times The Guardian