Sophie Atherton, in an interview with The Morning Advertiser at the launch of the report in London, stated that bar staff need to be able to speak ‘passionately’ about cask ale in order to boost sales and attract more customers.
She said: “Cask ale is always going to be the lifeblood of pubs, it’s uniquely British thing that can draw people through the doors of the pub.”
The report, which was published on 21 September, found that 41% of licensees talk to their customers about cask ale in detailed terms, and that 94% of cask conversations were initiated by telling customers what beers they had on the bar.
However, only 31% of bar staff started conversations about cask ale, which Atherton said was a ‘missed opportunity’.
The report stated that when bar staff begin a cask conversation with the customer it resulted in 50% of people ordering cask ale. If drinkers found bar staff could talk more knowledgably about cask beer, they were more likely to order another, give the pub ‘repeat business’ and recommend it to other people.
The launch of the new CaskFinder app, with pump clip recognition functionality, means that finding new beers will be easier and more accessible, with the app being used 60,000 times a month.
Paul Nunny, director of Cask Marque, said: “Armed with this app, customers will be more aware of beers and have a better understanding.”
Quality: Get it Right
The report also spoke extensively about the importance of beer quality and how it is presented to customers.
Atherton said: “Talking to staff about quality is very important; 33% of pints are served through dirty and unclean pumps. Get the quality right, this will attract more people who are interested in craft beer.”
The report states that quality should be a top priority for pubs; poor quality and practices can lead to serious losses.