Lifestyle Report: Leisure

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Leisure

Licensees aren't too good at relaxing - it's time they gave themselves a break.Holiday timeA licensee's life is certainly not a beach with, on...

Licensees aren't too good at relaxing - it's time they gave themselves a break.

Holiday time

A licensee's life is certainly not a beach with, on average, less than two weeks of time off every year - and that's with all the bank holidays thrown in!

Take them away and you're left with less than six days set aside for getting away or simply putting your feet-up. This compares unfavourably with other jobs where between 20 and 25 days of holiday is standard. What's even more concerning is that more than a third of respondents claim to have less than 10 days off.

For a lucky few, six per cent to be exact, holiday days number more than 30 - nice work if you can get it.

Holiday destinations

Holidays are a luxury that a quarter of all licensees simply can't afford - either that or they simply love their jobs too much.

Of those who did make it away last year, a third headed for the sunny climes of Spain while more than a quarter left their passports in the pub and sampled the delights of the UK.

Seven per cent of publicans admitted to visiting France (how many of these were stock-boosting booze cruises remains a mystery) while the Caribbean and USA were the most popular long-haul destinations.

Favourite type of holiday

If and when licensees finally do get away, it is no surprise that relaxation is the name of the game. A bit of R&R is a welcome break from P&L, PPLs and PELs for 38 per cent of licensees.

More than a quarter of those polled like to get their feet moving as well as putting them up, with either sport or sightseeing the focus of away breaks. Four per cent ticked the "culture and history" box, but they may just be trying to show off.

Eating out

It may be somewhat of a busman's holiday but that doesn't deter licensees nipping out for a bite to eat now and again. Nearly a third of respondents visit a pub or restaurant on a weekly basis, while 15 per cent must have understanding staff as they eat out of the home or the pub two to three times a week.

However, with time and money notoriously thin on the ground in the industry, it is hardly surprising to discover that more than a quarter of those surveyed dined out less than once a month.

Favourite type of food

Wave those flags and hum Land of Hope and Glory, because British food is what publicans would most like to get their laughing gear round.

What "great British grub" actually entails is not really clear but with nearly two out of every five publicans in favour, it towers over its rivals like a stack of Yorkshire puddings.

Indian and Chinese cuisine can be found in joint second place while Italy has stretched ahead of France as the number one gastronomic representative from across the Channel.

Favourite leisure interests or hobbies

When publicans aren't pulling pints and changing barrels, their leisure time is filled with an array of interests and hobbies.

Dining either at home or out with friends may top the bill, but perhaps the most notable entry is that of animals and pets. Whether that's walking the dog, bird watching or ferret racing remains unclear, but nearly a third cited it as a key way to wind down.

Home-based entertainment such as watching TV and videos, reading and listening to music also scored highly. Travel was popular too, although with an average of less than two weeks to do it every year licensees might not do as much as they like.

Favourite interests and hobbies:

  • Entertaining/restaurants: 36%
  • Animals and pets: 32%
  • TV/video: 27%
  • Music: 25%
  • Travel: 25%
  • Reading: 23%
  • DIY: 18%
  • Computers: 18%
  • Walking: 16%
  • Cinema: 16%
  • Countryside: 14%
  • Theatre/concerts: 11%

Favourite sports to watch

It is the Beautiful Game that turns the heads of licensees when it comes to watching sport. With more than half the survey in support, football takes the highest spot on the podium ahead of rugby, snooker and pool.

With its foundations firmly laid in pub culture, it is perhaps no surprise that the green baize holds such an attraction for publicans and the same could be said for darts - watching a good game of "arrers" is enjoyed by more than a fifth of all licensees.

Although it is rarely shown live in pubs, motor racing boasts a strong following alongside cricket and horse racing - a sport which has traditionally been close to the hearts of publicans.

Favourite types of music

After a hard day pulling pints, changing barrels and making small talk with regulars, licensees like to unwind to a soundtrack of Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to name but a few.

That "easy listening" is the number one choice ahead of rock, pop and R&B can be partly attributed to the fact that the average age of publicans surveyed is 46. Let it never be said that they're not a discerning lot, however, as classical, jazz and opera all command a healthy following.

However, only seven per cent gave rap the thumbs up.

Strangely, one licensee over the age of 60 said he liked hip-hop - perhaps he thought it said hip-op.

Time spent watching TV

Sitting in front of the telly is not something that licensees do very much. On average, they tune in for just over eight hours a week, which is way below the national standard of 20 hours a week.

More than two-thirds watch between one and ten hours a week, three per cent claim they never watch TV at all while, at the other end of the scale, a square-eyed four per cent watch a staggering 26 hours or more a week. Which begs the question: who's running the pub?

Related topics: Legislation

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