Time gentleman, please.
A swift one. A cheeky one. An overly priced London one. No matter how you put it, the sacred act of going to the pub and invariably staying for many more pints than originally vowed is apparently dying out. Newly released figures shows that only one-in-10 visits to the pub are now solely for the purpose of having a drink.
While going for a quick pint has long been a British pastime as habitual as eating fish & chips or apologising too much, the findings by the NPD Group are pretty damning to say the least. 92 out of every 100 pub visits now involve the consumption of food, with 100m breakfasts sold in pubs annually, a whopping increase of 128 per cent since 2008; the number of servings of booze in pubs has dropped by more than a quarter since 2008, while sales of hot beverages and soft drinks is up by 11 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.
Then again, how didn’t we see this coming? Triggered by the rise in gastro pubs and a shift in social attitude as to how we use our public houses, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a high street pub chain that hasn’t attempted to restructure its image from hardy old boozer and drinking den into family friendly, three-course meal serving establishment.
We’d also be pretty hypocritical if we were to entirely scoff at the idea of going to pubs just for a bite to eat. Just what right-thinking person isn’t partial to a Weatherspoons' breakfast? Plus those Ploughman’s sandwiches won’t eat themselves will they?
Whatever you think, it appears drinking sessions in pubs are diminishing by the day. Are you part of the problem, is there even a problem, or is the world a better place when you can get fine food in comfortable homely establishments without drunkards belching on the table next to you? Do you also think it's quite nice to order a Coke without instantly feeling 90 per cent less of a man?
Let us know in the comments and answer the poll below.
Our's is a pint (of Coke).