More than three-quarters of the 500 consumers polled by foodservice supplier Bidfood claimed they would eat at a pub or restaurant that had a barbecue, even if they were originally planning on just having a drink.
“The figure highlights significant potential for the sector to maximise sales this summer through an enticing alfresco dining experience,” said Bidfood insight manager Lucy Pedrick.
The key to maximising the opportunity is to have a varied barbecue menu, said Bidfood, which should include traditional English BBQ fayre, as well as some more exciting options.
English barbecue classics
Some 66% of Brits want to see the English classics on a barbecue, while almost two-thirds (59%) would prefer American-style foods.
The research also showed world cuisine as a rising barbecue star, with spicy, fragrant flavours from the likes of Jamaica and the Caribbean having appeal to more than a third of those asked.
Burgers and sausages rank highly among barbecue fans, but demand for chicken done on the barbie is ticking up, with 52% of respondents choosing it as one of their favourites.
Beef burgers were second (47%), followed by sausage (46%) and steak at 42%, the survey showed.
Vegan BBQ options
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 80% of those asked agreed it is important for pubs to offer vegan and vegetarian BBQ options.
Pedrick said: “The summer season is arguably one of the most crucial trading periods for a pub restaurant, with 76% of those we surveyed visiting up to five times a month.
“Barbecues present a potentially lucrative incremental revenue stream, where publicans and restaurateurs can seize the lunchtime, post-work and early evening drinks sales opportunities, and extend dwell-time considerably.”
She continued: “As the survey results illustrate, the open-style cooking and aroma of a barbecue is appealing enough to lead consumers to put their hands in their pockets and make an unplanned food purchase.”