Good news, the decline of the local pub may be at an end! For the first time since 2010 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported a net gain of 320 pubs in 2019 to 39,145*.
The rise has significantly shown a dramatic result compared with the previous years, where the UK pub network declined by an average of 732 pubs each year.
It appears more pubs are utilising technology and using data to understand their customers better, they can then change business hours based on behaviour patterns and try and generate more sales during quieter periods.
Another reason is the increase on beer sales. Craft beers grew by 194,000 pints in 2019 and has created a popular cult following in real ale. Many smaller pubs are now showcasing guest and world beers and are creating tasting events along with food promotions and accommodation. The local pub can no longer rely on the same old regulars and have upped their game!
The potential revival could gather momentum after Tim Martin, the founder of the Wetherspoon chain announced plans to spend £200m over the next four years on expansion, an investment that will create 10,000 jobs.
The local pub is as much a part of the British culture as the Queen, in fact they are referenced to in the 11th century. They improve community engagement and are the third most popular tourist activity, and we can finally say the numbers are heading in the right direction.
* There are now a total of 39,145 pubs in the UK – based on businesses classified by the Standard Industrial Classification code 56302 : Public houses and bars. Figures are rounded to the nearest five by ONS to prevent identification, meaning these are not exact numbers