Britain’s largest pub group, Stonegate Group, which owns popular chains like Slug & Lettuce and Yates’s, has implemented a “dynamic pricing” system in 800 of its venues. This system will result in a 20p increase in the price of a pint of beer during the busiest times, such as weekends, to offset rising operational costs.
While dynamic pricing has been previously used during special events like World Cups, Stonegate has decided to make it a regular practice. Pub patrons have been informed about this change through a “polite notice” displayed in Stonegate pubs. The notice explains that the price adjustment is necessary to cover additional expenses like increased staffing, additional security at the entrance, extra cleaning, glassware washing, and compliance with licensing requirements.
“Stonegate Group Introduces ‘Dynamic Pricing’ Scheme, Adding 20p Per Pint During Peak Hours”
Dynamic pricing, also known as surge pricing, is a common practice in other industries, such as aviation and ride-sharing services like Uber. Airlines often charge higher ticket prices during peak travel periods like school holidays, while Uber increases fares automatically when demand for rides is high.
Although dynamic pricing is common among major sports and entertainment ticket providers in the United States, it is less prevalent in the UK. The practice has generated controversy on occasion, with fans expressing disappointment when it is applied to tickets for events like concerts.
A spokesperson for Stonegate, which operates 4,500 venues, stated that the company regularly reviews pricing to manage costs and offer value for money to its customers. The company’s dynamic pricing approach includes various promotions like happy hours, two-for-one cocktails, and discounts on food and beverages at different times and days of the week.
The CEO of another prominent UK pub chain, who wished to remain anonymous, mentioned that dynamic pricing during busy periods and events has been a longstanding industry practice in large venues.
While the transparency of Stonegate’s approach has garnered attention on social media and generated some negative publicity, the practice itself is not unique to the company, according to the CEO.