Saturday, 29 October 2011

Patterns of pubgoing

OK, here are the results of my recent survey, which impressively attracted the maximum permitted 100 responses within 24 hours. Thanks to everyone who completed it. The number of responses obviously equate exactly to percentages.

A few points worth making. 89% of people live within half a mile of a pub, which is accepted as the maximum distance most people are prepared to walk to a pub. However, 35% never visit their nearest pub, and 27% never visit a pub on foot at all. And the high figures for people who go to the pub from work in the evenings, and combined with leisure activities, underline the importance of these sources of trade.

For 17% of people, there were over 50 pubs closer to their home than the pub they visited most often, although that is entirely feasible if, for example, someone from the south end of Hazel Grove was a regular in the Crown or Magnet in Stockport town centre.

And not a single person said that TV sport was one of the main factors influencing their choice of pub. Maybe it’s not quite the moneyspinner licensees believe.

1. How often do you visit pubs?

Daily: 5
Most days: 13
2-3 times a week: 30
Once a week: 15
Once a fortnight: 7
Once a month: 9
Less than once a month: 21

2. How far are you from the nearest pub?

400 yards or less: 53
Half a mile: 36
A mile: 5
A mile and a half: 1
Two miles: 3
Over two miles: 2

3. Do you regularly visit your nearest pub?

Yes, it is the pub I visit most often: 20
Yes, but I visit another pub more often: 10
No, but I occasionally call in: 35
No, I never visit it: 35

4. If you visit another pub more often than your nearest, how many pubs are closer than your chosen pub?

1: 7
2-5: 27
6-10: 9
11-20: 13
21-50: 4
51-100: 8
Over 100: 9

5. Would you say that you have a “local” pub, even if not the closest?

Yes: 64
No: 36

6. What methods of transport do you use to travel to and from pubs? (Choose all that apply)

NB: this refers to the main mode on each journey – by definition all will require at least a little walking

Foot: 73
Bus: 40
Train or tram: 27
Pedal cycle: 9
Motor cycle: 1
Taxi: 14
Car as driver: 18
Car as passenger: 28

7. On what occasions do you visit pubs? (Choose all that apply)

Directly from home in the evenings: 60
Directly from home at lunchtimes: 14
From work in the evenings: 44
From work at lunchtimes: 11
When shopping: 27
Combined with leisure activities (e.g. sports events, sightseeing, cinema or theatre): 49
Other (please give details): 10

  1. After dog walking
  2. Weekend days as a decision to go drinking
  3. Folk club
  4. Weekend afternoons.
  5. days out specifically for pub crawling
  6. Weddings,funerals,christenings
  7. Political meetings once per month
  8. I used to go but not anymore
  9. Meeting up with friends
  10. Wake

Some of these slightly missed the point, but “weddings, funerals and christenings” is a good one. In a past era “after church” might have been added too.

8. What are the main factors influencing your choice of pub? (Choose up to 3)

Range of beer: 48 Quality of beer: 68 Convenient location: 15 Choice/quality of food: 7 Comfort/ambience: 50 Value for money: 7 Smoking facilities: 21 My friends go there: 25 Live entertainment: 3 TV sport: 0 Other (please give details): 7

  1. No TV
  2. Interesting area
  3. Good landlady
  4. Quality of service
  5. No smoking available, so I seldom go there anymore.
  6. It's got a good smoking shelter and the service is really quick.
  7. Choice of Lager!

Maybe “quality of service” would have been worth adding to the list.

9. How many pubs do you usually visit on each drinking occasion?

1: 70 2: 11 More than 2: 19

10. Any other comments?

24 comments received, reproduced verbatim below:

  1. The good old 'boozer', and the attendant characters, are virtually extinct. Sad, so very sad.
  2. Having been a very regular pub goer (5-6 times a week) I no longer visit pubs unless away on business. This is a direct consequence of the smoking ban, no other reason.
  3. More than two unless it's my local. Then one.
  4. Also visit other pubs for meetings & socials on a regular basis. My answers as to location transport & no of pubs would be different for these visits
  5. How different this survey would have been in 2007. I used to go out several times a week but now I struggle to even bother visiting the restaurants near me which are laughably called pubs.
  6. I stop going in winter
  7. Two main reasons I don't visit pubs more is the cost, and the demise of so many of my favourite breweries. What's the point of going on a pub crawl of Henley nowadays, or Wandsworth? I've yet to find a new brewery that can produce ordinary bitters that are a patch on Brakspear's or Young's - let alone Batham's or Harvey's... (OK, pub crawls of Brierley Hill or Lewes are still very agreeable, thankfully.) All of which is a bit of a pity really, as pubs themselves are more pleasant to visit now you don't come out of them reeking of fag smoke!!
  8. My nearest pub was once very good but is sadly now a filthy drugs den.
  9. Used to go to pubs 3-4 times a week before the ban.
  10. And my visit to the pub is entirely dependent on the weather. eg NOT RAINING
  11. I have days when I just visit my local, other nights out are pub crawls.
  12. Now once a month at the most Between 1961 and 2007, 7 nights a week
  13. Used to go quite often but with no more smoking available I stopped except for once in a while. Most others have stopped too so I'm not alone. We tend to visit one anothers houses now instead of the pub. It is more friendly plus we can smoke and drink at the same time.
  14. Used to go 5 nights a week, since smoking ban down to two.
  15. Basically, the only time I visit a place with a bar (not a pub) is when we have a local BNP meeting. Then I MIGHT have a bottle of wifebeater (not that I have a wife to beat, these days).
  16. I have been to a pub three times this summer and not at all last winter, due to the smoking ban. Why should I pay the same price of a drink, when if I want to use a legal and taxed product I am forced to sit outside in inferior facilities at most pubs.
  17. I’m not friendly enough to have a proper local, I like to try different pubs everytime I go out.
  18. I do live in Cyprus so there is a bit more "slack" in the situation! :-))
  19. My nearest (give or take a hundred yards) pub is excellent, and is part of the reason why I bought a house where I did, but my friends live on the other side of town so that's where I normally go to drink.
  20. Used to go to a pub every Friday and Saturday night then came the smoking ban - nuff said
  21. Mumble mumble smoking ban mumble.
  22. I walk past a w/mens club and a pub on the way to my local club (men only,that should have Harriet Harpie spitting blood) PURELY for the smoking facilities.The 2 closest to me have been visited less than 10 times since that fateful day.I give them the same support as they gave me,and have told them so.
  23. Keep up the good, Hail to the ale.
  24. I would go more often but...........the smoking ban!
I like the one about not being friendly enough to have a proper local ;-)


  1. Blimey, that was a quick survey. I did not respond because the survey site is blocked at my work place. But I went to pubs every day before the smoking ban and now I go about 10 - 20 days but mostly in the summer months.

  2. Glad to see the prick in the BNP had his wife leave him.

  3. I see that quality of beer comes well above range. Pubs who put on more beers than they sell quickly enough, please note.

  4. No great surprises in the poll
    Pity really these blogs dont reach
    the 3-4 million who have kicked the pubs into touch.
    Unfortunately the well meaning
    blog and web sites are MOSTLY the domain of geeks,goblins and hobbits who have'nt the bollocks to do anything about the demise of the Pub Trade.All most do is remain smug and in denial of the obvious while chortling how well
    "their" local is surviving.

    The Watcher

  5. Well, Watcher, just watching isn’t going to do much for pubs, is it? I’m a regular pubgoer and I know Curmudgeon is too, so I’m not sure what more we can do other than use the pubs. Instead of watching, why don’t you do something? For example, since you clearly think yourself superior to the rest of us, you could give us all some positive ideas on how we can help save pubs instead of dishing out your unjustifiable snide insults. Insults are cheap and easy. Yes, we discuss beer on blogs, but we’re also out there drinking beer in pubs – in my case, 4-6 times per week, and looking back on my NBSS record, I see I’ve been to literally dozens of pubs in the last 3 months. What have you done? Other than whinge about other people, that is?


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