Pub Chains Accused of Driving up the Price of a Pint

Local names Young's and Fuller's among most expensive

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Accusations of 'driving up prices of a pint' have been levelled at large pub companies following a survey published by the GMB Union.

According to the data large 'pubcos' are charging an average of between £2.16 and £3.06 for a pint of lager which is between 7p and 80p a pint above the average price at a free house such as Wetherspoons. The average price of a pint of draught standard bitter is £2.24 while the average price of a pint of premium bottled and canned lager is £2.54.

The cheapest pint of lager in Britain can be found in Yorkshire where a pint can be bought for a mere £1.68 a pint. At the other end of the scale, customers of the InterContinental Hotels Group are being charged an average of between £3.53 and £3.30 for a pint with the next most expensive is Young's managed pubs in London where the price is an average of £3.25 a pint of standard lager. Next comes Fuller, Smith & Turner managed pubs in London with an average price of £3.22 a standard pint of lager.

The GMB plans to use this analysis in a submission to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the EU on the role of pubcos in driving up prices in pubs in the UK.

Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser said, “This GMB analysis shows that the big pubcos, which dominate the pub industry in the UK, are charging an average of between £2.16 and £3.06 for a pint of standard lager. This is between 7p and 80p a pint above the price at a free house such as Wetherspoons depending on the UK region."

The union says that large pubcos tie their pub tenants to buy wholesale from them at up to 80p per pint more than the price in the wholesale market which translates into a higher retail prices for the customer and into poor living standards for the tenants.