Stonegate Pub Company has defended its decision to charge customers up to 50p extra per drink during England’s matches. The company, which operates 692 pubs, puts prices back to normal as soon at the game ends. Is raising beer prices during the World Cup fair?
Price increases of 20p were discovered at a Yates’s in Manchester, 25p at a Walkabout in Colchester and 50p at The Clock House in Harlow, Essex, reports The Sun. It’s been reported that the increase in prices during matches is not advertised.
A Stonegate spokesman said:
“It is common practice across pubs, bars and entertainment venues to implement event pricing when big events take place to ensure customers have an experience in which they can be served quickly, remain safe and enjoy the occasion. Any increases in cost covers the requirements of additional staff, security, cleaning and those associated with satisfying and complying with a number of licensing requirements, including the use of polycarbonate glasses. Therefore, proportionate increases ranging from 10p to 50p apply on certain products in certain venues.”
Is charging higher beer prices at big events okay?
I personally have no problems with whatever pricing is set. Its a free market – charge what you like for drinks and let the market decide if the pricing is too high. It is important though that the pricing is communicated fairly to the customers.
Inconsistent pricing risks upsetting regular guests as well as bad publicity – as demonstrated by this week’s events for Stonegate. Even when the company tries to justify the increased costs, it just smacks of taking advantage of guests enthusiasm for sports.
Solutions to avoid conflict
Only have a standard pricing and discount down from there – peak, off peak and surge pricing is just confusing and difficult to message. Start with your highest pricing, what you’d want to charge at the peak times, and then apply promotions and discounts down from there.
This way standard beer prices and other drinks will be in force for major sporting events and peak business hours, and other times will be able to take advantage of lower pricing and gain positive publicity.
So, we’ve solved pub pricing. You’re welcome industry. Next week: World peace!
Let us know if you have a better solution!