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Lock in, stay over - Ed’s letter


It’s worth looking up from energy/staff/tomato bills for a moment and thinking about where there is growth in the sector, growth which may already be under your roof without you knowing about it.

Recent research by Stay in a Pub and CGA by NIQ reported that the demand for, well, staying in a pub, was growing, tickled along by people looking for value for money, as one might expect at the moment, but also for the experience.

The study reported that 60% of those who had stayed in a pub in the last 24 months said that they preferred a pub stay versus other types of accommodation for the same spend and location, compared to 53% in 2019. From the supply side, 59% of operators said that they were expecting growth in accommodation revenue, and 62% were planning room refurbishments in the next 12 months.

Jenn Knott, senior consumer research manager at CGA by NIQ, said: “Wider CGA research confirms that consumers don’t equate value for money as the ‘cheap’ option, but something that is high quality and worth the cost, indicating that investment in accommodation quality has led to a shift in consumer perception.”

Groups such as Fuller, Smith & Turner have known this for a while and have been expanding their really quite fancy rooms offering. Who amongst us hasn’t wanted to have a night out in the pub and then crawl upstairs to their bed? We all got used to it during the lockdowns with our Zoom drinking and while it’s lovely to see the backs of everyone’s heads again, having a bed metres away was a definite upside.

This is also one area where the sector is leading, rather than following. Experience is the current watchword in hospitality and rooms in pubs is one area where the sector rains all over groups such as Airbnb. There is no artifice, no fabrication and we do it better than everyone else. Raise a pint and a flag.

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