Diversity is key for the Great British pub

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Pub Awards and Wetherspoons results show diversity is key

Related tags Wetherspoon Tim martin Great british pub awards Pub GBPA Diversity Finance

The recent Great British Pub Awards was a triumphant celebration of the diversity and richness of the UK’s pub offer, with businesses of all stripes recognised for excellence across the board.

Seeing some amazing businesses doing some incredible things is a real honour and privilege and helps to underline how important the pub and bar sector is to this country.

We recently recorded a segment for the next episode of the Lock In podcast with one of our GBPA finalists, about how pubs need to be more than just pubs, and that’s clear to see from the pubs in the competition - the breadth of offer and services available is staggering.

And that’s vital for survival.

You only have to look at the troubles of JD Wetherspoon​ to see that. The chain is a superb and efficient operator of pubs, with an impressive great-value food and drink offer.

But in this day and age, simply offering good value food and drink is no longer enough - you’ve got to offer so much more, engage with your community and bring more and more to the table.

Experience is going to be key to survival.

If you’re worried that the supermarkets are eating your lunch, as Mr Martin has said on a number of occasions, then you’re in trouble – nobody ever went to a supermarket for a nice time – and trying to compete with that is a road to nowhere, I would argue.

Add value, add experience, build on the traditions, culture and heritage of the great British pub – to me that’s the only way we’re going to trade our way out of the current crisis.

So once again, congratulations to all our finalists and winners at the awards, you’re all a real credit to the sector and should be rightly proud of your achievements. 

There’s tough times ahead, but with great operators like that out there, there’s still plenty to be optimistic and hopeful about.

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