The pub grub trend is here to stay and that environment brought together with the enjoyment of new casino sites and apps in a sense recreates the quintessential, traditional casino experience with a mobile twist.
They’re into quality over quantity, while restaurant industry experts also sound the warning about “disastrous” pub closures and staff shortages.
And there’s more to coming back to the pub than just being old hands at ordering pints.
A new survey from hospitality analysts Kantar Worldpanel suggests the pub sector grew its revenues by 4.7 per cent in the last year. However, this figure includes fish and chip restaurants, which make up 17 per cent of the market.
Revenue in the pub sector actually declined by 0.3 per cent, according to Kantar Worldpanel, with the positive figures due to a strong performance, where sales growth exceeded the average of 3.5 per cent.
Pubs are re-inventing themselves. They tend to offer burgers, hipster craft beers (some may even have a Beer Wall) and gourmet food too.
But what really makes a pub great?
Pub-goers certainly seem to love their food and drink, and experts think a sense of community is at the heart of pub grub’s success. It’s possible that it’s the great ambiance that these pubs tend to offer that’s attracting more people to these spaces, making the experience as unique as the food. This is often accomplished with elegant furnishings, cool neon signs (try Neon Mama to see examples), and great music.
Darren McGarvey, writer of The Proof is in the Pudding and Spinning Coin, says: “We tend to be more superstitious about eating in an empty pub than in a busy one, even though there’s not really any logic behind it.
“And with so many delicious places to eat in the city centre it is hard to pinpoint exactly why pub food is so much better.
“It could be that the quality is generally a bit higher because the chef, or more likely chefs, are more used to the more high-end service needed in an eating place.
“The latest craze seems to be an East European and North African take on pub grub, and I think the chains – like Wagamama, Zizzi and Nandos – have contributed to the explosion in those options. It’s actually easier than ever to find traditional favorites like chips and mushy peas, fish and chips, steak and ale pie and sausage butty.
“However, this surge in choice has also meant that prices have risen.
“Part of the reason that the growth of small independent breweries in recent years has been so successful is because the price of a pint hasn’t gone up so much as the range of options.
“The top pub in my local area can now serve 200 different types of craft beer and the vast majority of them are almost unrecognisable from the original brands.
“This seems to suggest that what we want from our food and drink isn’t just cheap, it’s also good.”
Caitlin Wilcox, sales and marketing director for drinks company Brand Union, also thinks that quality is at the heart of pub grub’s success.
“More than ever, diners are appreciating excellent food and drinks from great local and regional suppliers, which is driving growth in the pub food sector,” she says.
“The flavour of each ingredient is elevated, given the respect it deserves and where possible, the best possible match with delicious pub staples, creating unique dishes and drinks.”