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UK Pub Catering market report

“Value-for-money gastropubs are fuelling the pub sector. Diners want set menus and pubs are premiumising them to chase higher spending. There is potential to boost lunch sales, given that diners are interested in lunchtime takeaway options. However, dishes high in sugar, salt and fat may have to be reformulated if pubs wish to win favour with health-conscious diners. Under-45s are interested in using apps to book tables, pre-order and pay.”
– Trish Caddy, Foodservice Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Premiumise the offers to boost sales
  • Digital ordering is becoming mainstream

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Food sales driving growth
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast for pub catering market, 2011-21
            • Key players
              • Mitchells & Butlers
                • Young’s
                  • JD Wetherspoon
                    • The consumer
                      • More people eat than drink in pubs
                        • Figure 2: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars/nightclubs to eat and drink in, March 2017
                      • Favourite pub dishes
                        • Figure 3: Most voted favourite dishes (any rank), March 2017
                      • Budgets for pub meals
                        • Figure 4: Budget for pub/bar meals, by occasions, March 2017
                      • Diners are driven to deals
                        • Figure 5: Interest in products and services, March 2017
                      • Pub diners are health-conscious
                        • Figure 6: Menu deterrents, March 2017
                      • Diners are slow to accept digital loyalty schemes
                        • Figure 7: Attitudes towards pubs/bars, March 2017
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Premiumise the offers to boost sales
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Digital ordering is becoming mainstream
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Pub operators face rising costs in 2017
                                      • Consumer crutch holding up pub sector
                                        • Total pub sector benefits from strength of catering segment
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Pub sector benefits from strength of food offerings
                                            • Figure 8: UK pub catering industry market size and forecast, 2011-21
                                          • Pub catering segment continues to grow…
                                            • Figure 9: Best- and worst-case forecast for pub catering market, 2011-21
                                          • …but increasing costs mean pubs need to grow sales to stand still
                                            • Forecast methodology
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Brexit uncertainty for pubs sector
                                                • Confidence holding up but income squeeze on the way
                                                  • Figure 10: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, February 2009-February 2017
                                                • Rising costs for pub operators in 2017
                                                  • National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage
                                                    • Apprenticeship levy comes into force in April 2017
                                                      • Revaluation of business rates
                                                        • Alcohol excise duties increase by RPI inflation
                                                          • Rising inflation puts further pressure on pubs
                                                            • New Pubs Code for tied leased and tenancy agreements
                                                              • Soft drinks levy coming in 2018
                                                                • New alcohol guidelines and cutting back on alcohol
                                                                  • Pubs have less appeal to ageing population
                                                                    • Figure 11: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-21
                                                                  • Quality of food offer becoming more important
                                                                    • Figure 12: Pub/bar visitors’ behaviours, January 2016-February 2017
                                                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Mitchells & Butlers pushes into casual dining sector
                                                                    • Marston’s becomes more food-focused
                                                                      • Independent food operators trading inside pubs
                                                                        • Opportunities in home delivery
                                                                          • Mobile apps are mainstreaming
                                                                            • Wetherspoon is perceived as good value
                                                                              • Toby Carvery has strong image among parents of under-16s
                                                                              • Companies and Brands

                                                                                  • Mitchells & Butlers pushes into casual dining sector
                                                                                    • Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery
                                                                                      • Miller & Carter
                                                                                        • Chicken Society
                                                                                          • Lunch and Supper Counter
                                                                                            • Son of Steak
                                                                                              • Harvester launches vegetarian and vegan menu
                                                                                                • Greene King rebrands Eating Inn
                                                                                                  • Hungry Horse increases menu prices
                                                                                                    • Marston’s opens more pub restaurants
                                                                                                      • Revere Pub Company
                                                                                                        • Marston's Pizza Kitchen
                                                                                                          • Brasserie Bar Co. saw turnover increase 10.2%
                                                                                                            • Slug and Lettuce expands presence in the South and targets women
                                                                                                              • EiG invests in independent pubs
                                                                                                                • Punch Tavern grows Village Pub & Kitchen
                                                                                                                  • Browns Brasserie & Bar gains gluten-free accreditation
                                                                                                                    • Joseph Holt secures £25 million refinancing
                                                                                                                    • Brand Research

                                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Key metrics for selected brands, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Brand attitudes: Wetherspoon is the brand most widely available
                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Attitudes, by brand, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Brand personality – Macro: Brewers Fayre stands on par with Beefeater Grill as tired and boring
                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Brand personality – Macro image, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Brand personality – Micro: Toby Carvery takes the lead on traditional and authentic; Harvester has the strongest family and healthy image
                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Brand personality – Micro image, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                          • Wetherspoon is a trusted brand with a good reputation
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: User profile of JD Wetherspoon, March 2017
                                                                                                                          • Toby Carvery is both authentic and traditional
                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: User profile of Toby Carvery, March 2017
                                                                                                                          • Sizzling Pubs is fun, vibrant and exciting
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: User profile of Sizzling Pubs, March 2017
                                                                                                                          • Harvester is the most caring brand
                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: User profile of Harvester, March 2017
                                                                                                                          • Brewers Fayre is seen as boring and tired
                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: User profile of Brewers Fayre, March 2017
                                                                                                                          • Only 3% see Beefeater Grill as favourite brand
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: User profile of Beefeater Grill, March 2017
                                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                          • Opportunity for food operators to trade inside pub premises
                                                                                                                            • Barrel & Stone stretches its pizza brand
                                                                                                                              • Tootoomoo plans to roll pan-Asian tapas into pubs
                                                                                                                                • Just Eat delivers to Punch Tavern pubs
                                                                                                                                  • Antic London trials noodle bar concept
                                                                                                                                    • Using beer as a food ingredient to create standout dishes
                                                                                                                                      • Additional revenue stream from gift card schemes
                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities in home delivery
                                                                                                                                          • Displaying calorie counts allows customers to make informed choices
                                                                                                                                            • IT solutions help pubs keep up with technology
                                                                                                                                              • Corporate companies are pre-booking bars for events
                                                                                                                                                • Pubs are rolling out mobile apps
                                                                                                                                                  • Young’s On Tap
                                                                                                                                                    • Wetherspoon’s Order and Pay
                                                                                                                                                      • Restaurant-with-rooms concept gains traction
                                                                                                                                                        • Free food with drinks
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                          • More people eat than drink in pubs
                                                                                                                                                            • Favourite pub dishes
                                                                                                                                                              • Spending caps on day and evening meals
                                                                                                                                                                • Diners are driven to deals
                                                                                                                                                                  • Young diners are interested in lunchtime takeaway options
                                                                                                                                                                    • Diners are health-conscious
                                                                                                                                                                      • Interest in technology, but slow to accept digital loyalty schemes
                                                                                                                                                                        • Pubs are an information-driven business
                                                                                                                                                                        • Frequency of Visits

                                                                                                                                                                          • More people eat than drink in pubs
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars/nightclubs to eat and drink in, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • People prefer to eat at pubs during the day
                                                                                                                                                                            • Parents of under-5s
                                                                                                                                                                              • Women more likely to eat at pubs throughout their lives
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Any eaters at pubs/bars^, by age and gender, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                              • Catering to all socio-economic groups
                                                                                                                                                                              • Favourite Pub Dishes

                                                                                                                                                                                • Roast dinner and fish & chips are the most popular pub dishes…
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Most voted favourite dishes (any rank), March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • …and people like them more as they get older
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Two of the most voted favourite dishes (any rank), by age and gender, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Burgers attract the young customers…
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Burgers as most popular dishes (any rank), by age and gender, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • …but grilled steaks appeal to all
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Grilled steak as a most voted favourite dish (any rank), by age and gender, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                • Spending Caps on Various Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Daytime
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Most people are prepared to spend less than £10 on daytime meals
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Budget for pub/bar meals, by occasions, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Evening
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Most people are willing to spend up to £14.99 for dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Dinner budget, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in Pub Features

                                                                                                                                                                                      • People want a lot of menu options
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Most people are drawn to set menus
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Meal promotions appeal to younger diners
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Daily specials can be profitable
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Diners are interested in grazing
                                                                                                                                                                                                • People enjoy creating their own dishes
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Young customers want to takeaway lunch
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pubs need to use the best ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Under-45s will use cashless payment apps
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Interest in products and services, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Menu Deterrents

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Diners are health-conscious
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Diners prefer freshly made meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Menu deterrents, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards Pubs/Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Everyday low prices are better than loyalty programmes…
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …but interest in online booking can increase loyalty
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Most people pay attention to online reviews…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • …while social media attracts younger punters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • There is demand for pubs to act more like restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • People want all-day dining options…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …but weekday deals are just as effective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Women want healthy pub options
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes towards pubs/bars, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: UK pub industry market size and forecast, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK pub catering sales, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast Methodology