The study found that 96% of the 500 pubgoers surveyed felt those three factors were of paramount importance, while more than three-quarters (84%) cited attractive surroundings and décor as key in customers deciding what contributes towards a great customer experience in the rural pub setting.
Some 72% stated a versatile outdoor space and 68% said a loveable licensee were also crucial in creating a strong experience.
Factors such as free Wi-Fi (44%), regular events (24%) and live sport coverage (11%) were found to be of less importance in an out-of-town pub setting.
Important to customers
Upham Pub Company CEO Chris Phillips highlighted how operators should remember what is important to customers, according to the data.
He said: “The research we have carried out not only refocuses our offering as a group, it also highlights consumer demand for a traditional country pub experience when it comes to visiting rural and out-of-town sites throughout our industry.
“With a worrying number of pubs closing down on a weekly basis, it’s crucial to remember what’s important to customers and what a country pub stands for."
Home away from home
He added: “We want to provide our guests with a ‘home away from home’ and be a hub of the community – with great food and atmosphere, surrounded by welcoming and attentive staff, something the findings clearly show is of the upmost importance to pubgoers.”
He said Upham wasn’t an inner city pubco but a traditional pub collective and it should stay true to values and ways of working that come with this positioning.
Phillips added: “Giving back to our communities by not only providing the offering they’re seeking, but by going above and beyond to make a difference, is something we feel passionate about across the Upham estate and will continue to deliver upon as our business continues to grow.”