Pub-chain’s ‘polite notice’ informs punters of 2 hour price hikes in peak times

Customers visiting 800 pubs owned by a British hospitality chain will have to pay extra during its peak hours to cover “additional costs.”

The Stonegate Group has called this the “dynamic pricing” scheme which is to be introduced at its pubs across the UK, including the Slug and Lettuce chain.

The Coach House, in central London, owned by the group, will jump from £7.05 to £7.60 during mid week evenings and weekends, reports The Sun.

The ‘polite notice’ on dynamic pricing states the extra cost to punters is to cover requirements such as; staffing costs, door staff and cleaning routines such as washing glasses.

The additional fees are set to be implemented between 5pm and 7pm on selected nights.

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The signs have been left in Stonegate pubs running the scheme, which aim to inform customers about why drinks may be more expensive.

But, unsurprisingly, the increases hitting the pockets of customers has been criticised on social media, with one punter writing on Google Reviews: “Charges more because it’s busy? [The pub] wanted £4.50 for a small glass of cola… avoid like the plague.”

Another person compared surge pricing to “cab apps” complaining that it shouldn’t be the norm in pubs to implement this change.

The group also came under fire last year, when they issued a £1 surcharge during World Cup Games.

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A spokesperson for the pub chain said: “Stonegate Group, like all retail businesses, regularly reviews pricing to manage costs but also to ensure we offer great value for money to our guests.”

“Across the managed business our dynamic pricing encompasses the ability to offer guests a range of promotions including happy hours, two-for-one cocktails, and discounts on food and drink products at different times on different days throughout the week.”

They added: “This flexibility may mean that on occasions pricing may marginally increase in selective pubs and bars due to the increased cost demands on the business with additional staffing or licensing requirements such as additional door team members.”

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics in August 2023, the average pint of lager in a pub now costs £4.47, a rise of 47p or 11.7 per cent in a year.

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