Pubs clean up their acts on tipping

Related tags Trading standards Diageo Rum

Pubs have been praised for cleaning up their act when it comes to swapping leading spirits brands with cheaper substitutes. Only one in 50 pubs is...

Pubs have been praised for cleaning up their act when it comes to swapping leading spirits brands with cheaper substitutes.​ Only one in 50 pubs is now believed to be carrying out the practice - known as "tipping" - compared to as many as one in 12 in 1999.

But privately-owned restaurants across England and Wales have come under fire from the International Federation of Spirits Producers UK (IFSP), following a spate of incidents.

One curry house in Salford, Greater Manchester was recently hit with a £1,300 fine, and costs of £700, after being found substituting Smirnoff Vodka for a cheaper brand.

"The pub trade has got a lot better than it was a few years ago," said Philip Scratchard, director of IFSP, which works with trading standards departments to combat the practice.

"When we surveyed 1,000 pubs in November 1999 we found that 8 per cent of pubs were substituting at least one spirit at any one time. Now based on a number of regional surveys in England and Wales, that number is closer to 2 per cent. But because pubs are getting better it has highlighted the problem in restaurants."

Recent investigations carried out by trading standards departments in Kent, Bexley and Greenwich in the South East, and Poole in Dorset, have all pinpointed privately-owned restaurants as the "most likely" venues to be tipping.

When Poole trading standards officers took 172 spirit samples from 51 venues, four restaurants and two hotels were discovered substituting brands including Smirnoff Vodka, Gordon's Gin, Famous Grouse and Bacardi Rum with cheaper brands - a 14% failure rate.

Dean Burgess, a consumer protection officer at Poole Trading Standards, said: "These results send a message to licensees that licensed premises are regularly inspected by officers. Offences such as spirit substitution will be detected and pursued through the courts."

Related topics Other operators

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more