By James Atkinson

The proliferation of small bars, increased dining options and changing consumer expectations have changed the pub business forever, according to Brisbane publican Jason Titman.

Titman, director of Due East Restaurant and Bar, told TheShout that after a difficult few years, many publicans have tried to convince themselves and their suppliers that 'next year things will return to normal', but the reality is that the above drivers of change are here to stay.

"If we want to survive we need to find ways to manage our businesses around them," he said.

Titman said the last 10 to 15 years have seen the demise of the local 'bar fly' and patron loyalty also seems to be becoming a thing of the past.

"They are seeking new and different experiences all the time," he said.

"We need the public in order to survive, but like many operators I am finding it increasingly frustrating that up to two thirds of our restaurant patrons expect they do not need to book."

"And then wonder why we struggle on some occasions and appear under-staffed. I use the expression 'champagne tastes with lemonade pockets' to describe how many of our patrons seem to expect more and more, yet are not willing to pay for it."

Titman said hotels have been around for hundreds of years and will be around for many more.

"But they will probably be quite different to how they are now. 2013 is sure to be another exciting year for the Australian hotel industry. "

See the full interview with Jason Titman in the February issue of Australian Hotelier.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation


  1. it’s the same with small business retail. I’ve sent a letter out to all local residents saying ‘use us or lose us’.

  2. Pubs need to look for other ways to retain venue loyalty. Customer expectations of high quality meals and decent prices are the norm now. It’s sad to see the average pub relying on pokies more and more as a main source of revenue.

  3. A successful future in this channel is forged with staff education and training. Easy fix: Make pouring deal decisions with trade partners who offer bonafide support, some approachable brands and put less emphasis and squeeze on nip price.

  4. Things have changed … a restaurant owner is now a publican ??? I think the pub business is quiet different to the restaurant business.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *