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The development of the modern UK public house: Part 3: The emergence of the modern public house 1989 - 2005

Pratten, John D. (2007) The development of the modern UK public house: Part 3: The emergence of the modern public house 1989 - 2005. International journal of contemporary hospitality management, 19 (7). 612 - 618. ISSN 0959-6119

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline the main changes to the British pub brought about by the Beer Acts. Design/methodology/approach – There has been a heavy use of secondary sources drawn from the whole of the period studied. This has been augmented by discussions with licensees, retired licensees and older pub customers, to collect their reflections on the industry. Findings – The paper finds that ownership of public houses has changed, and the brewers ceased to be pub owners. Separate pub-owning companies have emerged, involved in either retailing or renting. Long leases were offered instead of short tenancies. The struggle for customers has hastened changes to the industry, so that pubs are now concerned with customer satisfaction and appealing to specific sectors of the market. Government legislation and external factors have also influenced these changes. Research limitations/implications – The paper reports the changes in the industry, and examines some of the causes. It is also shows that further work could examine the causes more carefully, and could include regional studies for comparison purposes. Practical implications/implications – The paper demonstrates the extent of change, and suggests that further change is likely. Originality/value – The paper shows that there have been other attempts to examine the history of the public house. This is the most detailed, and as such could be of interest to the general reader as well as practitioners and students of the hospitality industry.

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