Grilled steak is top of the menu in British pubs

Grilled steak is the most popular food dish in British pubs, according to new research from Mintel. 

One in five (20%) of respondents said grilled steak was their favourite pub dish, beating out roast dinners (19%), burgers (15%) and fish and chips (14%).

The research also found that sales of pub meals grew by an estimated 14% between 2012 and 2016 to reach £7.4 billion.

Richard Caines, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said pubs willing to embrace food were more popular with consumers.

“Pubs that generate a higher proportion of sales from food and, as a result, attract a wider audience have generally performed more strongly than drink-led pubs,” he said. “This was reflected in sales of meals through pubs recording stronger growth than alcoholic drinks in 2016.

“Sales of meals in pubs have benefited from an ongoing move in the pubs market towards more food-led venues and efforts to improve quality and to expand and update menus across price points. The pub catering market has also benefited from an increase in the average spend per visit. The trend towards all-day dining, including the development of breakfasts in pubs, is another contributor to increased sales.”

Other findings included that pub-goers were willing to shell out when dining, with over three in five (63%) prepared to pay over £10 for dinner at a pub (excluding drinks), with 18% happy to spend between £15-£19.99, 10% comfortable paying between £20-£24.99 and 8% prepared to splash out over £25.

Trish Caddy, foodservice analyst at Mintel, added: “When it comes to food, it is not just about venues using premium ingredients, but also creating standout menu options that customers have come to expect, such as build-your-own dishes, set menus and a wider range of healthy options. Value-for-money gastropubs are currently fuelling the pub sector, but looking to the future there is a growing appetite among pub-goers for more premium offerings.”

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