Money blog: What makes up the cost of a £6 pint – and how much is profit? | UK News

By Ollie Cooper, Money team

Many of us have noticed the price of pints creeping up in recent years. 

The cost of draught lager has gone up nearly 30% since January 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS says the cost of the average pint in Britain is £4.70 (it was £3.67 in January 2019), but many pubs frequently sell beers for over £5, £6 or even £7 in cities like London, Edinburgh and Brighton. 

The beer doesn’t taste any different despite the increase in price – so where exactly does that £6-7 for a pint go? 

Sky News spoke with management at The Duke of Greenwich pub in Greenwich, London, for some insight. 

A pint of The Duke of Greenwich’s eponymous lager costs £6 – but just 83p (about 13.8% of the cost to the consumer) is profit for the pub.

They pay the brewery £1.36 per pint and allow for 5% wastage – which people in the industry say is perhaps a little on the low side, given the number of top-ups and over-lively pints poured. 

Nearly 30%, or £1.76, of your £6 goes towards paying staff – with hospitality wages needing to rise given inflation, the national minimum wage and in order for pubs, restaurants and cafes to compete in the worsening inter-industry dogfight for employees. 

£1.16 may seem steep for rent and utilities per pint – but remember they aren’t just paying for the building and the lights. They also need to wash your glass with very hot water using a dishwasher or glass cleaner, provide heating for punters, water for the bathrooms and electricity across the wider pub for bandits (aka trusty fruit machines), music and for that bloke at the bar to charge his phone. 

No one will need reminding that there’s a cost of living crisis that affects pubs as much as everyone else. 

There’s also beer gas that needs to be paid for. 

This goes some way towards explaining why pubs charge so much – they simply have to survive. 

More expensive means more profit, right?

As you go further up the scale, the trend continues. 

Despite a pint of Crush IPA by the Drop Project Brewery in Mitcham costing £1.80 more than the lager (£7.80), there’s actually a decrease in the profit margin – from around 13.8% to around 12.7%. 

Less than £1 of that £7.80 is profit for the pub itself – and this is before we’ve accounted for extra expenses like refurbishments, cleaners, breakages, expired products, etc. 

While being aware of these facts may not make you wince any less when that card machine turns around, you will have a better idea of where that money is going. 

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