Hey UK peeps, if you want to save your pubs, you’ll need to down 124 pints

people toasting outside a bar
Photo: Huw Fairclough / Contributor (Getty Images)

Globally, the pandemic has kicked a big dent into the food and drink business, and Britain has been no exception. After so many months of mandatory closure, pubs especially are hurting. Restrictions on taverns lift today in the UK, as pubs without garden spaces will be allowed to open after five months. A financial firm called Company Debt calculated just how many pints each British adult would have to drink to bring the pubs back to their pre-COVID financial state. Spoiler alert: it’s... a lot.

With the latest estimates suggesting that the UK’s food and beverage industry lost at least £25.66bn due to Covid-19 we wondered how much every person in the UK would need to spend in order to reach pre-pandemic levels.

In particular we wondered how far that money would go in pubs, one of the most beleaguered sectors.

We came up with a figure of 124 per pints per adult, based on a figure of 52 million adults in the UK.


Well, that’s a lot of beer. I guess it’s time for people to start drinking, though I know that now that people can see each other face to face, that number might automatically get a boost.

Don’t feel left out, non-drinkers. You can help, too, by eating a shitload of potato chips, or as they say over in the UK, crisps. And each adult would have to eat 976 packages of them. This is also the equivalent of 40 roast dinners, which is a lot of beef and Yorkshire pudding too. I’d say a combination of dinners, potato chips, and beer might do the trick. Company Debt has made a poster to inspire Brits to do their part.

Obviously that is not an ideal approach to catching the economy back up, but it is an interesting marker to see just how badly one industry was hurt during the hardest times of COVID-19.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.


¿Donde está la biblioteca?

Our local’s been on the ropes for years now and, frankly, my wee town is hoping that this latest round of Lockdown fuckwittery’ll do it in for good. It’s been there since the 1960s, no one has fond memories of it, and it has had more owners than a rent boy’s had gentlemen callers. A fair number of people in our wee town’ll actually rather traipse up the road to another wee pub which is always busy (well, it was pre-Lockdown), serves up decent food, has great music, tasty snacks and has bar staff who’ll actually crack a joke with the punters.

Our local is doomed. The sooner it gets taken over by the Asian family who own the wee take-away next door (who have plans to turn it into a proper restaurant) the better. And when they do renovate it, I demand they cremate the nasty-fucking-arse shite-brown carpet. My stepfather tells me that he helped lay that carpet in the 1960s and it was originally crimson. Yeah. Red.