For example, they seem to have a dichotomic approach to real ale. Producing only one, you’d think it would be in their own best interest to support it wholeheartedly. However, swathes of their pubs don’t sell it and whist they lavish money and time on some of their estate, some of it is in need of TLC. And the imposition of a dumbed down menu on their managed houses didn’t go down well with publicans or customers.
Having said all that, I was surprised to see the recent change at Sinclairs in Manchester-surely one of their flagship boozers? They’ve gone all retro and ripped the handpumps out, replacing them with box fonts. Somewhat bizarre in a pub they are always trying to sell as “traditional”. Apparently the change has seen a drop in sales, as presumably people are creatures of habit and are ignorant of electric dispense-which I presume they now are. Whether this is just a temporary blip, time will only tell. And they really should stop insisting on plastic glasses inside.