Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Pubs blacklisted from guidebook

Almost 400 UK pubs have been blacklisted from a guidebook after a rise in complaints about bad service

Almost 400 UK pubs have been blacklisted from a well-known guidebook after a rise in complaints about bad service.

The Good Pub Guide 2011 said it had excluded 381 establishments, with four in 10 disappointed customers reporting poor service - up from three in 10 last year.

Thousands of people contact the guide each year to report praise or gripes about their pub experiences.

Fiona Stapley, the guide's editor, said: "There are pubs which have never been in the guide which readers feel they simply must warn people against."

This year's criticisms mentioned a smelly roaming dog, grubby or cheerless surroundings, overpowering TVs, piped music, a poor choice of beers and several complaints about shortcomings in food.

Staff shortages and surly publicans or employees were other common complaints.

The guide says: "Another common complaint - in one in nine bad pubs - is of unwelcoming and uncaring staff. A further one in 15 of the thumbs-down reports describe surly, insulting or even aggressive publicans or staff."

Ms Stapley added: "The genuinely warm and personal welcome found in so many of the guide's pubs has become something of a rarity."

The guide found the price of pub food was on average 5% more expensive than last year and a pint of bitter is up 4% to an average £2.80.

It also raised concerns about the number of establishments refusing to serve wine in a standard 125ml measure.

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