It’s often said of pubs (and of other businesses such as post offices and bus services) that you have to “use them or lose them”. Obviously in a sense this is a statement of the obvious, that if businesses fail to attract sufficient custom, they will go to the wall. However, there’s often an implication that people should make an attempt to visit pubs they otherwise wouldn’t in an attempt to keep them going. Now, I do visit a fair number of pubs and make an effort to spread my custom around and keep up with what is happening in different establishments. The average adult in Britain drinks less than two pints of beer in a pub each week, and there have been few weeks of my adult life when I have not comfortably exceeded that.
But, quite frankly, I have better things to do than go to pubs I wouldn’t otherwise visit in an almost certainly vain attempt to stop them from closing. And in any case, the number of beer enthusiasts isn’t sufficient to keep any individual pub going – they must appeal to a wider public who are only going to be interested in the pub offering the drink, food, service and ambiance that suits them and couldn’t care less about making some kind of statement. It is up to pubs to attract customers, not customers to save pubs.
If you have to say “use it or lose it”, the odds are you’ve already lost it.