Scots defiant in defence of community pub

New research from Molson Coors highlights the important role played by pubs in local communities throughout Scotland.

Scots are more likely to visit the pub than the social club or community centre, according to new research commissioned by Molson Coors. The importance of ‘local’ pubs in the Scottish community was highlighted in the research which showed that almost a third (32%) of Scots visit their local at least twice a month, with close to half of Scottish men (41%) believing it is important to have a pub within walking distance of their home.

However the research also highlighted the fact that between 2007 and 2012 a total of 703 community pubs closed throughout Scotland and around three-quarters of Scottish drinkers (76 per cent) believe the trend of pub closures is set to continue. This, however, is being combated by inventive publicans who are providing tailored services and introducing a range of events to entice new customers.

Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors Scotland, explains why pubs remain important, Local pubs have long been a corner stone of Scottish communities, and provide people with a great place to meet and socialise. It’s fantastic to see in this report that the public recognise the key role played by their ‘local’ in the community. This support and seeing more younger people and women visiting pubs will help pull them through times that are challenging for all businesses. Our experience at Molson Coors has shown that by helping smaller drinking establishments continue to provide a traditional service and a great atmosphere for all customers, makes a big difference.”

Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice added, “From the cosy pubs at the heart of rural communities to the bigger venues in our towns and cities that serve thousands of people every month, pubs are an important part of Scottish life. For hundreds of years, people have used them to enjoy a drink and a chat with their friends, and we all want to see that continue.

“The Scottish Government values the licensed trade in Scotland, and supports responsible drinking. I look forward to considering the findings of this report that Molson Coors have commissioned, and encourage everyone to recognise the value of their local pubs, restaurants and hotels, which are important parts of our communities.”

The report also examined the methods employed by local pubs to maintain their customer base and differentiate themselves from competitors with greater resources. It was found that their ability to deliver a more personable service and a welcoming atmosphere – dubbed ‘super-service’ – is integral to the future of the trade. A core emphasis on ensuring higher quality customer care was deemed the primary reason that local pubs manage to sustain their business and ensure customers are not lost to potentially cheaper, but less welcoming premises.

Phil Whitehead concludes, “It’s very promising to see pubs innovating and demonstrating resilience in the face of the challenges they face. Actively seeking to attract a wider audience, and remaining committed to prioritising service above all else is cementing the key role that pubs continue to play in society. It is this steadfast determination to respond to customer needs and adapt their business accordingly which is helping sustain the trade, despite tough times.”

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