Patrons could see their pockets take a hit as a major pub chain has decided to hike the cost of a pint during busier hours due to higher energy, staffing and ingredient costs.
Stonegate Pubs, which has 4,500 boozers in the UK, is the country's largest pub company following 12 major acquisitions, and in 800 of their establishments "dynamic pricing" has been introduced.
'Polite notices' placed on tables in selected venues tell customers the price of their pint could soar from 5pm to 7pm, and could cost up to 55p more.
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A pint of Peroni in The Coach House in central London jumps from £7.05 to £7.60 during mid week evenings and weekends, reports the Sun.
The notice reads: "Dynamic Pricing. Polite Notice.
"Dynamic pricing is currently live in this venue during this peak trading session."
Punters from The Station at Sutton Coldfield in West Midlands said dynamic pricing is causing an exodus at the pub.
Paul Woodhead posted online: “Friday night 8 o’clock and all regulars were gone and place almost empty.
“As a result pub empty most nights. High then higher prices on a random basis driving away customers.”
One punter fumed on Google: "Charges more because it’s busy? [The pub] wanted £4.50 for a small glass of cola… avoid like the plague.”
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Another person wrote: "'Surge pricing' or as they call it 'dynamic pricing' is annoying enough on cab apps, this can't become the normal in pubs."
The company caused a stink in 2018 when they charged extra for some drinks when England's World Cup games were being broadcast in their boozers.
Stonegate said at the time that any cost increases were to cover licensing requirements including additional door teams and increased supervision and the use of polycarbonate glasses as well as extra staff, security and cleaning.
And on the recent move to hike prices again, a spokesperson said “on occasions pricing may marginally increase due to increased cost demands”, including additional staffing.
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