A shift is underway in the licensed trade from drink-led to food-led establishments. The current literature emphasises two underpinning reasons: (i) the need for pubs, bars and craft venues to diversify their income streams in an increasingly competitive sector, and (ii) changes in consumer demand and preferences for the availability of food, especially in ‘craft’ establishments. This chapter argues that a third reason has been neglected: the long-standing regulatory pressure for establishments to provide food alongside alcohol. Drawing on archival research and local authority licensing data, this chapter argues that the shift to food-led provision in licensed establishments must be understood as part of an enduring regulatory concern to foster a more ‘civilised’ drinking culture – namely, a seated, café-style, ‘more European’ approach to consumption – in which patrons drink alcohol alongside food.
Meers, J. (2021), "From ‘Wet Led’ to ‘Dry Led’: Food and the Contested Framing of Alcohol Establishments", Clarke, D., Ellis, V., Patrick-Thomson, H. and Weir, D. (Ed.) Researching Craft Beer: Understanding Production, Community and Culture in An Evolving Sector, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 149-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80043-184-320211010
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