CGA’s Karl Chessell told delegates at MCA’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit three in five leaders now have a positive perspective on their business prospects.
Chessell said: “This is a whole new outlook on the market. Before the referendum, we were in a situation where there was a reasonable amount of positivity, both in your own business and in the market, but that dropped quite significantly after the EU referendum.
“We never really recovered but we’ve seen the biggest bounce in optimism that we have in a while – and now 83% of senior leaders are actually confident about the prospects of their business.”
Competition in quality
On top of that, he explained while pubs are seeing declining numbers, the leased and tenanted sector still makes up half of the market
Chessell said: “But while supply has eased, the quality of the competition has really improved.”
He shared how exactly the sector can target consumer trends to maximise footfall.
“Pubs are still the number one social destination for drink-led occasions with 56% of all drink-led visits being to pubs,” he added.
CGA data showed tenanted pub consumers are among the more aspirational, younger consumer groups.
“Generally, these people go out to the on-trade, so its good news for the tenanted sector.”
Target your consumer
However, with that younger consumer, comes more specific dietary requirements, according to CGA’s new insight.
Compared to drink-led pubs that continue to drop in numbers, the number of food-led sites has been fairly static, with 49% of people considering themselves foodies.
And, with more consumers having higher catering expectations, more pubs are changing their food offer.
Chessell referenced the Spread Eagle, in Homerton, east London, and how it has gone full vegan with its menu but Chessell said this isn’t necessarily the only answer.
He said: “It’s not about becoming completely vegan. It’s about giving that option and catering to that taste.”
Cherry on top
However, Chessell did advise the tenanted sector should be focusing on the growing trend of consumers’ environmental outlook.
“It’s a real turn off for consumers if you don’t have sustainable credentials.”
Chessell said many of these trends can be embraced at the pub, be that sustainability, localism and experiences.
He added: “It’s hard to define experience. We looked at what the building blocks were, such as food quality, service – they’re really important and without them, it doesn’t matter what cherry you put on the top – you need the foundations.”