Pubs are turning into casual dining venues in a bid to appeal to Generation Y, according to Geronimo Inns.

Speaking at the Managed Pub Retail Summit 2014, Geronimo Inns managing director Ed Turner name-checked Jamie’s Italian, Loungers, Be at One, The Stable and Bill’s as shape-shifting versions of the social role a traditional pub used to play.

“Pubs are not the most popular activity for 18-24 year olds. They don’t drink and don’t smoke. It’s all smoothies and Bill’s. When we get into some of these new places what are they selling - tea towels, takeaway, food, water and coffee. But let’s look at what these independents are doing, because they often lead the way. They’re very successful. They’re very personal,” said Turner.

“I don’t want us to forget the personality of a pub and the part we play though, or we are going to end up with pubs called ‘The Three Bill’s’ or ‘The Dog & Jamie’s’ – that is the way things are going,” he added.

Turner also spoke about the importance of sustainability, saying “you have got to think bigger than the immediate issue”.

“It is about using seasonal food. It is about knowing that you have got the right farmer. It is about welfare of animals. It is about sustainable fish sourcing. It is about fair trade. It is about working with your community so you can gauge your impact on the supplies going backwards and forwards. It is about putting balanced meals as options and not just putting one token salad at the bottom of your menu. It is about responsible marketing. It is about the education of the next generation in sustainability and fair practices. It is about the environment. It is about the supply chain. It is about energy usage. It is about using water wisely. It is about waste. It is about workplace resources,” explained Turner.

“People used to think that sustainability was an added cost. But it is now helping us run a more efficient business”, he pointed out.

“We recently re-vamped our entire business by putting in the right lighting that can be dimmed. We have almost paid for the entire project within the first year. In fact, we have saved 1,875 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of taking 10 huge tray loads of coal and burning them. It was easy and it can be done,” Turner added.