Laurel Pub Company has hit back at claims that pub grub is too expensive.
Good Pub Guide editor Alisdair Aird claimed pub food prices had increased by 13 per cent in three years. But managed pubco Laurel says its prices have actually fallen in that time.
"Our Hog's Head division has reduced prices by eight per cent and seen a growth in food sales," said trading director Caroline Underwood. "And within our Champion division cutting our prices by nine per cent has resulted in an extra 1,800 people eating in our pubs each week."
The guide is compiled by Mr Aird based on reports and comments submitted by contributors. The industry has raised concerns that it often presents an inaccurate snapshot of a diverse pub market.
Last year there was controversy when Mr Aird singled out for criticism pubs with the Charter's "smoking allowed throughout" signs without reporting it was part of a wider signage programme by the Charter Group.
Food publicans fight back against criticism (24 October 2003)
Chefs hit back at guide's slur on rising cost of pub food (16 October 2003)
Good Pub Guide author slams smoking charter (29 October 2002)