WITH more than four pubs per day across the UK closing their doors and calling time on their status as the hub of the community, the Upham Pub Company is encouraging rural and out-of-town pubs to stick to their roots and preserve what it means to run a traditional country inn.

A recent study by the south of England pub collective, which has pubs in West Meon, Haslemere and South Harting, near Petersfield, identified friendly and inviting atmosphere, attentive staff and good quality food as the top three factors that make a perfect pub country pub, highlighting the crucial elements that will contribute to a premium customer journey in a pub.

Participants in the study of more than 500 nationwide pub goers, including customers of the premium group, also cited that attractive surroundings and décor (84 per cent), versatile outdoor space (72 per cent) and a loveable landlord or lady (68 per cent) were key in customers deciding what contributes toward a great customer experience in this setting.

Factors such as access to free wi-fi (44 per cent), regular events (24 per cent) and live sports coverage (11 per cent) were found to be of less importance in an out-of-town pub setting, suggesting that concentrating on a core offering will pay dividends to such a pub.

Chris Phillips, chief executive of Upham Pub Company, said: “The research we have carried out not only re-focuses our offering as a group, it also highlights consumer demand for a traditional country pub experience when it comes to visiting rural and out of town sites throughout our industry.

“With a worrying number of pubs closing down on a weekly basis, it’s important to remember what’s important to customers and what a country pub stands for. We want to provide our guests with a home away from home – with great food, a great atmosphere, surrounded by welcoming and attentive staff – something the findings clearly show is of the upmost importance to pub-goers.”