Food-led destination pubs provide the best customer service in the pubs and bars sector, according to a survey commissioned by the National Skills Academy Hospitality.
However, the survey conducted by mystery shoppers in association with The Mystery Dining Company, found that service in high street and community pubs rated below the industry average of 75% and short of the 90% target.
Customer service stands at 79% in destination pubs, 73% in community pubs and 72% in high street pubs. Just 15% of pub goers will promote venues to friends. Destination pubs also scored higher than other pubs in personality, staff skills and lasting impressions.
National Skills Academy Hospitality chief executive David McHattie said that as high street and community pubs can't compete with cheap supermarket alcohol or with the standard of food at destination pubs, their point of difference must be the overall experience.
The Academy surveyed 1,122 businesses in the hospitality sector, 18.4% of which were pubs and bars.
"They need to demonstrate personality in spades — pubs with personality are part of our heritage and bringing back this personality will be a key element in driving loyalty, recommendation and growing customers and sales," he said.
The Academy suggested pubs can improve staff's product knowledge, positivity and ability to engage customers.
Although destination pubs scored most highly within the pub sector, they still fell short of the 90% level, which the Academy believes marks the point when customers become loyal and are willing to recommend the venue.