Beer quality issues cost pubs £300m in lost profit

By Ed Bedington contact

- Last updated on GMT

Poor quality beer costing more than £300 million in lost profits

Related tags: Cask marque, Cask ale, Beer, Public house

Quality issues on beer could be costing the pub sector more than £300 million a year in profit, a new report has claimed.

The Beer Quality Report, a study conducted by Vianet and Cask Marque, said pubs were missing out on an average of £6,416 per site due to simple issues that affect quality, such as not cleaning beer lines.

It said operators were missing out on a total of £111m in pouring yield and a 2% improvement in till yield of £222m by not maximising the amount of beer sold from every barrel and also “the amount of money taken against each pint poured”.

The report draws on data from both Cask Marque and Vianet to analyse the beer quality picture across the UK, including information from a new consumer survey, Cask Marque’s yearly visits to more than 20,000 pubs and Vianet’s quality measures from across the country.

According to Cask Marque, only 71% of beer lines were perfectly clean, a claim validated by Vianet, which has a serious impact on pouring yields. The two organisations claim the difference in beer volumes between a pub that cleans its lines as recommended, vs one that doesn’t, can equate to 50 barrels a year, a loss of around £50,000.

Steven Alton, managing director of Vianet, said: “The report shines a light on the crucial but sometimes misunderstood issue of yields. The findings show that the industry as a whole is not achieving the beer yields it should because of multiple reasons around beer quality – issues including frequency of cleaning of beer lines, low throughputs on individual taps, beer being kept at the wrong temperature, equipment failures and maintenance issues, dirty glassware and beer being poured incorrectly.”

The report doesn’t just highlight lost profits, it looks at the impact on customers as well, with Cask Marque’s Beer Quality Survey 2016 showing “90% of consumers say beer quality is essential or very important when selecting a venue”.

Paul Nunny, director of Cask Marque, said: “Quality is at the top of the consumer agenda.  They are now demanding more than ever from the businesses to which they choose to give their custom, so it is vital that pub operators focus on getting the right practices and training in place, to ensure they deliver a perfect pint – and perfect experience – every time.”

Other findings in the report suggest that many pubs are trying to run too many beer taps, with an average of five. The study showed 60% of consumers would rather see a smaller range of better quality beers on offer.

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