Menu prices

High street pub food menu prices decline following increased competition

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs worst-hit in some menu areas
Pubs worst-hit in some menu areas

Related tags High street pub Cost

The strain of increased competition in the eating out sector has forced many high street pubs to slash the prices of their dishes, while the amount of side dishes sold increased significantly, according to the latest Horizons’ Menu Trends report.

On average, the price of an adult’s three-course meal in a pub had declined by 45p to £18.74 this summer, compared with £19.19 for the same period last year, the report said.

JD Wetherspoons was one of the worst-hit high street chains and reduced the average price of a three-course meal over the summer by 58p to £13.62. This was compared with an average of £14.20 for a three-course meal for the same period last year.

Compensate for the decline

To compensate for the decline in menu prices, the majority of high street pub chains had bolstered their efforts to sell more side dishes, it added.

“Our menu survey picked up a big increase in the number of new side dishes being added to menus (45% more new side dishes compared with last year) as well as upgrades, extras, toppers and sauces,” said Horizons’ analyst Nicola Knight.

“These add-ons are ways the operator can boost average spend, without appearing more expensive on the menu,” she added.

Meanwhile, pubs had lowered the cost of starters more than any other foodservice outlets in the sector, according to the report.

Some starters in pubs cost 5.4% less this summer than they did for the same period last year. For example, £4.71 was the average price of a high street pub starter this year compared with £4.98 last year.

Pub desserts taken a hit

Pub desserts had also taken a hit in price and fell from an average price of £4.73 during the summer last year to £4.36 this year, the report said.

The price changes showed there was a degree of engineering going on within businesses as they didn’t relate to changing food costs or increases in overheads, Knight added.

“What we are seeing is operators ensuring their offer is competitive compared to other outlets, and that they are perceived as being cheaper,” she said.


Average 2014 prices

Average 2015 prices














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