The last few posts have seen me writing about my philosophy here, which I admit is a bit left field, but it's the way I feel it works best in my place, and more importantly works well for me and my family. I know it's not going to work in many other pubs, they must find their own innovative solutions. All of this brings me back to thinking about pub culture and the way it seems to be.
Cooking Lager, in his own drinking culture challenging blog, talks about group think. His mention of the concept struck a chord with me; I learnt about it in a course I studies several years ago and when you look out for it you see it all over the place. Very simply, it is is where a group of people all say that one idea, method or answer, for example, is the best. Because they all agree that this is the way it should be, they fail to find a better answer to whatever problem it is they are trying to solve. The group may miss some difficult but significantly superior solution, or even dismiss it out of hand.
There are some fixed ideas about what a pub should be and what it should provide. But why is it wrong for a pub to decide to try and break the mould of pub culture1? I think the whole of the pub industry is stuck in a kind of rut, trying it's best to keep the general masses happy, but not producing anything new or innovative.
I have long held the concept that the pub industry is partly being killed by the view of the sceptical vocal few who say a pub should do a check list of none negotiable things. I believe that there is going to be some changes where a few radical pubs will do some very different things. Many will fail but some will grow stronger and develop a new style of pub. Either that or we will end up with trendy bars and snobby restaurants being the key force in the food and drink sector and the pub left as a hollow shell, leaving drive through takeaway emporiums and the supermarkets to mop up the rest.
The future is bright, lets rejoice and recognise innovation in pubs, rather than trying to tie them to some sort of fixed bargain basement formula.
1Sorry, that pun made itself up.