A report has indicated that British pubs are failing to keep up with the demands made by the 'young, digitally-savvy population', putting them at risk of alienating this crucial target market and harming their long term survival hopes.
A study of 2,000 UK consumers has showed that Generation Y - who have grown up with technology as part of everyday life - have placed the internet at the heart of their social lives.
For this age group, web has overtaken as number one dating venue; nearly one in five (19%) have met a future partner this way in the past year.
The 'Pub of the Future' report by Casio's Business Solutions Division shows that "Generation Y" is looking for pubs that embrace these digital trends and their requirements differ from other age groups. For example, they are 67% more likely than their elders to choose a pub offering Wi-Fi services, and 70% more likely to select a pub that offers individual discounts and offers tailored to them.
Guy Boxall, senior product marketing manager at Casio, said: "It's clear that pubs aren't doing enough to stay relevant to the crucial 16-24 age group. To secure its long-term future, the industry needs to make a shift - and this research suggests that will be driven by digital trends."
The study, developed in partnership with the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and Punch Taverns, highlights that pubs have not yet engaged with this digital revolution. Three quarters do not provide customer loyalty schemes; 78% do not offer individually tailored discounts, 91% do not offer personalised digital marketing communications, and over two thirds do not offer their customers Wi-Fi.
This is despite the fact that young people are showing particular loyalty towards the pub industry. The report shows that, in a climate where 18% of the population no longer use pubs in their local area, 16-24s are over twice as likely to use them, most likely to meet with friends or go on a date.
Boxall added: "To the young people of today, online social currency converts into real-world social activities. By tapping into this untouched digital demographic, pubs could soon see a noticeable boost to their profits."