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5th January 2024

50+ independent pubs invite Londoners to show support by increasing footfall during the quietest period of the year

As we enter the most dreaded period for the hospitality industry, a group of independent pubs in London is taking action and offering free food and drink with CityStack to encourage Londoners to maintain footfall and keep these much-loved establishments afloat.

The industry has faced many challenges over the last 20 years (the number of wet-led pubs, bars and nightclubs have decreased by 43.6% (1)), but the landscape has became significantly harder for independent businesses since the Covid-19 pandemic. Managed-sites have been able to fare better (+14.6%), but independent hospitality businesses have suffered a devastating decrease of 32.9% for the last couple of years (1).

The massive increase in operating costs since 2019 (+43%) – mainly impacted by soaring energy bills (+300%) and beer inflation (+12%) – has strongly contributed to the disappearance of many treasured pubs which are community mainstays, and it sadly sees no sign of abating: 750 pubs are expected to close in the first half of 2024(2).

The first quarter of the year is often the most testing time for many independent pubs as they face a massive decrease in footfall due to dry January, poor weather and customers reassessing their leisure budget. All the while having to keep their businesses open while paying the same overheads.  Sadly, some do not manage to stay afloat with so many obstacles to overcome.

This is why over 50 independent pubs have joined the CityStack initiative to tackle this challenge and encourage Londoners to visit them during this difficult period.

CityStack is a unique gift, mostly offered for Christmas: this £25 stack of beer mats lets you get £100 worth of food and drink at any ten of the 50+ independent pubs that are part of the initiative.

Each pack includes a special beer mat which gives £10 off a £20 spend at any ten the 50+ London pubs, handpicked by the CityStack team. It also comes with a map and a stack of collectible informative beer mats to learn more about a selection of fantastic London pubs.

The pubs have been heavily promoting this initiative for Christmas. The goal is to encourage pub lovers to visit independent pubs just after they receive this unique gift for Christmas, and generate footfall and revenue during this very quiet period. It’s also a great way for people with limited budget to keep socialising.

(1)CGA by NIQ research – Morning Advertiser article Number of licensed venues drop to below 100,000
(2)Frontier Economics report – Morning Advertiser article 750 pubs set to close in first half of 2024

Amazing renowned independent pubs such as the Dog and Bell, the Faltering Fullback, the Cleveland Arms, the Crown and Shuttle, Skehan’s, the Kenton and the Pelton Arms are part of this initiative, alongside smaller independent community pubs such as the Star of Greenwich, the Old Justice, Old China Hand or the Rose and Crown.

These fantastic local pubs are willing to offer exclusive discounts with CityStack because it drives people to visit and discover them. Consumers save money, and the pubs gain new customers, it’s a win-win!

How does it work?

  1. Pick a pub on the map
  2. Visit the pub & order whatever you’d like
  3. Time to pay? Show the special beer mat and have it stamped to get £10 off
  4. Do it all again with another pub!

About CityStack

CityStack was initiated in 2021 by Alison, a pub aficionado, and a group of ten great independent London pubs. Together, they launched a two-weeks crowdfunding campaign for Christmas, where the target was smashed in a very short period of time.

Since then, CityStack started to generate sales both online, and in retail independent shops, and more pubs have shown interest in joining the movement.

In 2023, the CityStack team asked their community to recommend the best independent pubs in London and visited hundreds of independent pubs across the city to handpick some of the best hidden gems.

The goal? Allow more independent pubs to highlight why people should visit them and bring people back to the pubs!

More information about CityStack

Press contact: Alison Boutoille, Founder l l 07 385 84 98 24

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