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13th January 2023

Not only is January Dry, but the pubs’ bank accounts are too!

The first quarter is the quietest period for hospitality businesses. Bad weather, Dry January, cold, the need to save money after Christmas… many of us prefer to stay home.

But local pubs are still open! They still need to pay for their (massively increasing) bills.

It is not a secret anymore that hundreds of pubs are on the edge of closure and the start of the year is going to be critical for many of them.

Dry January means having a break from alcohol, but it doesn’t mean not socialising! I’d like to offer an alternative to just drinking, like having a meal or a cup of tea, so people can still socialise and enjoy the pub’s atmosphere without breaking the pledge of Dry January.

At CityStack, we know the challenges locals are facing and we encourage people to keep going to these amazing places that are part of UK’s DNA.

We launched a project to support independent pubs hit hard by the current economic crisis (staff shortages, energy costs crisis etc.) and help pub lovers to socialise within their budget: CityStack is a £20 stack of beer mats that offers £100 worth of food & drinks at ten amazing independent pubs across London.

This pack offers ten money-saving beer mats, each giving £10 off a £20 spend at one of the ten pubs that are part of the collection: it’s a total of £100 worth of food & drinks offered per pack!

How does it work? When it is time to pay, our users give the beer mat to receive a £10 discount on their bill. This discount is available on any item on the menu (food, drinks…) at any time.

With this pack, pub lovers save money, discover and support a selection of great independent pubs at the same time, it’s a win-win!

A unique gift idea to encourage to visit independent pubs!

The decrease in revenues caused by Londoners’ budgeting less towards going out, added to the increase of costs, results in a serious challenge to keep the hospitality businesses running. Not to mention the massive staff shortage disruptions.

While big chains may be well equipped to weather the current economic situation, it’s much harder for independent businesses to keep their business afloat.

It is imperative that we keep supporting the independent businesses that make London tick! That’s why we launched CityStack: to encourage people to go back to independent pubs!

“The current situation is very complicated to handle as a pub. When we were offered to join CityStack, we were delighted, as we want to spread the word about our pub, but we don’t have the needed resources to spend on marketing. This clever system is a great tool for promoting independent pubs like ours.”

Mel, Landlord of the Angel & Crown

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the pub related gift, it was genuinely one of the best presents I received all Christmas!”

Alex, 31, London pub lover

You only need to visit 2 pubs to get your money back!

Using our advanced ranking model and visiting scores of venues, we have hand-picked some of the very best pubs with meticulous care. All have something particularly special to offer: craft beers, a hidden garden, an incredible menu or unique design.

About the founder

Alison, 32, is French and arrived in London in the middle of the pandemic (Oct. 2020). When she settled down, she fell in love with the pub culture and was fascinated by how Brits consider a pub as an extension of their living room. But she was sorry to see how people deserted these amazing places dedicated to gatherings, especially independent pubs.

Her family has worked in hospitality for a while, and she knows how challenging it is to run a local restaurant, bar or pub.  It requires a lot of energy to deliver the best service possible, and managers don’t have time to spend on marketing. Nor the expertise. Having worked in the e-commerce sector for the past few years, she has helped small & independent retailers who had the same issue, competing against big groups with more resources, by providing modern marketing tools to develop their activity.

In 2021, she decided to help prevent the disappearance of these hospitality businesses that are part of the UK’s DNA with a unique Christmas gift for pub lovers and launched CityStack.

In October 2021, she was able to select ten amazing independent pubs ready to kickstart the adventure and launched a two-weeks crowdfunding campaign for Christmas, which was overachieved in a short period of time.

Since then, CityStack started to generate sales online and in independent retail shops. The project also received brilliant feedback from pubs and users and have been recommended by Time Out.

More information, links & contacts

Press release from Citystack.

For further information, please contact Alison Boutoille, Founder l l 07 385 84 98 24.