Survey shows the ‘most important features’ of Britons’ ideal pub

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Favourite characteristics: YouGov survey looks at what makes the 'ideal British pub'
Favourite characteristics: YouGov survey looks at what makes the 'ideal British pub'

Related tags Public house

Brits are looking for something more sophisticated from the pub these days, according to a new survey, with fruit machines and fags falling right to the bottom of their wish list.

YouGov question:

Which, if any, of the following features would your ideal pub have?

  • It serves meals (67%)
  • It has a beer garden (63%)
  • It has a fireplace (52%)
  • Bar staff know regular customers (51%)
  • Sells snacks (50%)
  • Serves real ale (37%)
  • Hosts live music (35%)
  • It has background music (35%)
  • Hosts pub quizzes (34%)
  • Allows dogs (32%)
  • Doesn't allow children (27%)
  • Has bookcases full of books (25%)
  • Has a snooker or pool table (24%)
  • Serves cocktails (23%)
  • It shows football or sport (18%)
  • It has TVs on the walls (17%)
  • It has a dartboard (17%)
  • It has Victorian architecture (16%)
  • It has leather seats (14%)
  • It provides tankards (13%)
  • It has quiz machines (9%)
  • None of these (7%)
  • It sells cigarettes or tobacco (6%)
  • It has fruit machines (5%)
  • Other (4%)
  • Don't know (1%)

The top five features of an ideal British pub, according to a YouGov Omnibus survey, serves meals (67%), has a beer garden (63%), a fireplace (52%), its bar staff knows regular customers and takes an interest in everyone (51%) and sell snacks (50%).

Another top feature includes serving real ale (37%), to which the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: "It's great to see that real ale features so high in a list of the features that make an ideal pub – and is the highest ranked drink on the list.

“It demonstrates just how intrinsically linked beer is to good pubs and we suspect that even people who don't drink real ale feel a bank of handpumps in a pub is the mark of a quality pub.

"A good pub is one that offers the highest quality and widest choice to its customers and making sure real ale is part of that mix is clearly important."

At the opposite end of facilities customers want is fruit machines (5%) and the selling of cigarettes (6%).

Ben Glanville, head of UK Omnibus said: “What makes an ideal pub is a question that has been debated for years, but our Omnibus research shows a good amount of agreement on several fronts, as well as nods to many traditional features.

“With pubs under pressure to attract punters and to stand out from the competition, making sure they cater to customers’ favourite pub characteristics is more important than ever.”

Men and women’s ideal pubs

The results also highlights how different men and women’s ideal pubs would be.

For example, women are more likely than men to want their ideal pub to serve meals (74% v 60%). When it comes to drinks, men are much more likely to say that their ideal pub would serve real ale (46% v 28% for women), while women are more likely to want it to serve cocktails (31% v 14% for men).

When it comes to appearance and ambience, women are also more likely to appreciate the presence of a fireplace (58% v 45% of men) and background music (39% v 30%), while men prefer televisions on the walls (22% v 13% of women).

More men want both televised and pub sports in their ideal boozer. They are more likely than women to want it to show football/sports (27% v 9% of women) and also have a snooker/pool table (29% v 19%) and dartboard (21 v 13%).

YouGov surveyed 2,113 people between 20-21 July 2017. 


How many features of the 'ideal pub' do you have?

  • All of them!

  • 20-25

  • 10-19

  • 1-9

  • None!


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