Pub lunch prices soar, says guide
Tuesday October 16, 2007
Long gone are the days when pub grub meant a lacklustre ploughman's or a packet of pork scratchings. But gone too is the idea that eating in a pub is a cheap alternative to a restaurant: a "middle-of-the-road" two-course pub lunch with a glass of wine costs on average £20, according to the latest Good Pub Guide
Paying £40 for a pub meal for two will be "quite a deterrent" to customers, say the editors. A survey of 1,069 pub menus showed that a starter and main course cost on average £16.76, with the bill including a single glass of wine hitting £20.
Around 1.1bn pub meals are served in the UK every year, with pubs increasingly relying on food sales since the smoking ban, according to the guide. "Pubs can't hope to attract a great many new diners - or even keep all their old faithfuls - unless they rein in their rising food prices," say the editors.
Beer prices are up, too, with a pint of bitter in UK pubs costing on average £2.41 - up 4% on last year. The West Midlands is the cheapest place for a pint at an average £2.05. Surrey beat London as the most expensive, with pubs in the county charging an average £2.69 for a pint of bitter against £2.67 in the capital.