The last two years have seen a drop in the percentage of the population visit the pub once a week for food from 21 per cent down to 16 per cent.
The survey of pub visitors by market research firm HIM! found fewer than half of all pub customers bought a meal from their pub in the previous three months, despite visiting the pub almost six times a month on average.
HIM! director Tom Fender suggested ways to boost food sales:
• Visibility. Pubs may rely too much on blackboards, which become “wall paper” to customers, who no longer notice them. Display your food to customers if possible.
• If your food is locally sourced, shout about it.
• Consider meal deals, particularly to encourage sales of desserts. Offers such as a sandwich, drink and a snack are common in shops - why not offer similar deals including a dessert and a coffee?