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A trend that I’ve remarked on before is that more and more pubs, if they don’t have a strong food trade, are no longer opening at lunchtimes during the week. I recently spotted that one of my local pubs in a suburban shopping centre had started opening at 2 pm during the week, with 12 noon reserved for Saturdays and Sundays.

Now I don’t expect any pub to open if the level of trade doesn’t make it worthwhile, although in this case it would be helpful if the sign was actually outside the front door rather than inside it, where it can’t be seen when the pub is closed. But it’s interesting to speculate on what are the dynamics of trade that mean the traditional lunchtime session doesn’t justify opening, but there’s enough business during the afternoon which has always tended to be regarded as a fallow period. Most pubs that drop lunchtime opening tend to keep their doors shut until 4 pm at the earliest. One theory is that televised racing has something to do with it.