menuwatching Report - Pubs & Bars 2023

The pubs and bars channel continues to evolve amidst rising costs, and continuing staff shortages. Work from 'pubs', even bowling alley entertainment spaces mean that both space and menus are working harder. Our latest menuwatching report covers what we've tracked across menus in pubs and bars in recent times.

It's a challenging time for pubs and bars at the moment, with soaring costs and staff shortages, in 2022 more than 32 pubs closed each month across England and Wales, (Big Hospitality 01/23). The BBPA has called for the government to step in to invest in saving pubs and breweries as bills are expected to rise to 82% by April 2023.

The COVID pandemic severely affected the industry and this, followed by the energy crisis and supply chain disruption, means that businesses are evolving. Flexibility is a must when it comes to space and menus. Creating an entertainment space such as bowling and work from home (or pub) spaces can entice new business. Set menus, children's meals, and extending (or shortening) hours also help to bring in customers.

We've collated three key takeouts from the Pubs and Bars menuwatching report to give you a feel for what's in the full round-up, which can be accessed by tfp trendhub subscribers via the links at the bottom of the article.

1. Set – Shorter set menus trend that helps to prevent waste, and they are adapted to maximise on events and quieter times - think 'locals menus', lunches or bratwurst and beer nights.

2. Comfortingly Local – Local ingredients are used where possible, and in innovative ways to add flavour. From a local hare dish served with parsley emulsion through to cocktails made with bourbon infused with crab apples from the kitchen garden, local ingredients are preserved to last for longer. There's the added bonus of reducing carbon footprint.

3. Bar Snacks – From alfresco tapas to sharable snacks enjoyed with a drink, bar snacks continue to evolve as a more affordable, sociable way to dine. Popcorn fried chicken, on toast delicacies and super nostalgic shitake mushroom croquettes all make irresistible bites.

trendhub subscribers can access the full Pubs and Bars menuwatching report here. If you're not yet subscribed but are interested to find out more then complete the form below and we'll get back to you.