The Great Whitby Rip Off !!

One of the main complaints you hear from visitors to Whitby these days is about the prices.

Whilst speaking to some day trippers last week, the conversation once again turned to the prices of the local restaurants and cafes.

“Where do they get their prices from ?” asked a disgruntled visitor from Yarm.

“Three pounds  for a cup of coffee is just disgusting”,  “and the price of fish and chips have gone through the roof, if it continues to be like this then we will stop coming as often”

It is also regularly commented upon that some of the fish and chip restaurants are now serving pollack but calling it cod.

One chap I spoke to explained he had asked for cod and chips and received a darker looking fish which tasted more like pollack.

“Ive worked in the fishing industry for 20 years” explained the gentleman “and I know pollack when I see it”

trenchers-restaurant-whitbyA recent topic on the well known commercial fishing forums –, suggests that the famous Whitby Restaurant Trenchers is actually misleading its customers over the market prices they have paid for their fish. Under a picture of market prices displayed inside the restaurant, One site member named – Croon Ball said “prices for cod last week at peterhead market was 2.80 to 2.50 a kilo. They should be made to prove what market that price was paid at”.

A second site member adds “Just had a look at Trenchers web site and menu,they are taking the ‘Micky’.

If the market that the fish came from was Whitby then I would tell all the fishermen to land there so that they can get best prices.”

“Sadly this is one restaurant that has now got ink in their face,They have no justification in charging those price’s.

The best fish restaurant at the market in Peterhead serves up the finest fish meals at good down to earth price’s.There is alway’s someone who let’s the show down.”

With overheads constantly on the increase these days, perhaps the local prices are justified. However the customer’s viewpoint must never be overlooked.

Prices are on the increase in Whitby and the complaints from visitors to the town do appear to be on the increase too.

I guess its tough to run a business in 2011 but any business who attempts to exploit the popularity of Whitby, may just come unstuck at some point in the not too distant future.

As always your thoughts would be appreciated using the comment form below.

Further Reading

62 Responses to "The Great Whitby Rip Off !!"

  1. Andrew Bowman  January 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Some people just love to moan. The prices are pretty reasonable for fish and chips in the countries number 1 seaside resort. Those people writing about Peterhead need to remember that the town is a dead end blot on the landscape. If you visit a beautiful town like Whitby then you should expect to pay a premium on everything. I for one don’t mind and looking at the que outside Trenchers and The Magpie I think I’m not alone.

    • whitbyforklift  August 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      total rubish. Whitby locals and visiters have been ripped off as long as I can remember. 63 years.Let us not be ashamed to tell everyone that our local tradespeople are takeing us all for a ride?

  2. Margo Reeves  January 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I agree with Andrew. You get what you pay for. Trenchers is a cut above the rest, that’s for certain.

  3. Andrea Jones  January 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Whitby is a major rip off and has been for some time now. Too many people on a get rich quick drive. There are fair prices to be found in Whitby, you just need to shop around. Perhaps Real Whitby could do a price comparison page on fish and chip prices – Just an idea as your always saying you need help with the site.

  4. Ben Q  January 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Aye its pricey in there, but very good food
    I have no problem with them charging that price, a product is only worth what somone is willing to pay for it so if customers are buying it then they must assume they are getting value.
    what is not good though is if they are misleading people over the market cost of the food, that could be a bit of a mistake on trenchers part as no one likes being lied to and it would certainly put me off

  5. harry cook  January 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I have noticed over the last few years the prices of the fish and chip shops,
    and resteraunts has greatly exceeeded inflation,

    my wife and i visit whitby on a regular basis,and have started to take a picnic,
    but you no the old saying ,a fool and his money are soon parted,

    and i am no fool

  6. The man in the White suit  January 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    The Man In The White Suits review of fish n’ chip shops in Whitby.

    Cheapest- Railway,

    By far the cheapest chippy in Whitby, yet the quality and quantity are always good , I like to pop for a quick pint across the road whilst they cook my fish!

    Most expensive- magpie

    I love to have a relaxing meal in the magpie and have never been dissapointed, always great service, the fish and chips are second to none, but it is worth trying some of the other dishes such as my personal favourite of fish pie!

    Now a negative , I once had a takeaway from the magpie, and it was rubbish and I will never go to the takeaway again!

    Best- Riverside

    I have never had a bad meal from here, lovely fresh fish and decent portions and great curry source! only pain is waiting in the long que!!!!

    • John Field  January 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Man in a Suit, I think this is the only time I’ve agreed with one of your posts. Except that I’ve not (yet?) had a poor take away from the Magpie. Sadly, the price of fish is likely to rise more in the next few years.

  7. Paul Kilpatrick  January 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    The prices are displayed outside so if you dont like them dont go in simple but they are over the top mr chips for me or riverside chip shop at the top end of church street there is one thing about whitby the buisness rates are stupid down in town the overheads are mad.


  8. Ben Laws  January 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    vat, tax, buisiness, rates, staff ,paye tax , supliers ,loans mortgages buisiness loans you havnt a clue how hard it is to be self employed at the moment i own java cafe in whitby and i just work for the tax man if all the moaning twats who come here and say its too expensive have a go see if you can doi it cheeper you havnt a son of a guning clue

    • Lee  August 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

      What a fine example you are, owning a local business and calling people (potential customers) “moaning twats”! I hope your customer service is better than your comments on here.

      When you lose custom just try engaging your brain before opening your mouth (or in this case using your fingers to type on your keyboard).

    • Angela Cooper  January 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Well how charming are you!!!??? I visit Whitby at least once a year, I have just read that your Cafe?? is one of the best for coffee, I am visiting Whitby in August for my Pearl Wedding and I can assure you I will definately not be visiting you!!!!! And do you know why????!!!! Because I am NOT a TWAT, I will be telling every one I know what an awful attitude you have towards your prospective customers.

  9. The man in the White suit  January 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Sell it to me then Ben ! How much?

  10. D Herron  January 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Looking at post number one; ‘The countries number 1 seaside resort’ you need to travel more.
    Whitby is a typical rip off resort which is getting worse, with the result we simply don’t visit anymore. Please Whitby, keep on over inflating your prices. Whitby is expensive in fuel to visit, pain to park in and a rip off capital. There’s no cure for high prices like high prices. In the current economic climate can Whitby’s future be sustained?
    Ben Laws, if your business running skills are as good as your literacy skills I’m not surprised you’re struggling.

    • Andy Shearer  October 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

      Whitby WAS voted Britain’s best seaside resort by Holiday Which in 2006.
      Like all popular seaside resorts today and yesterday, you do expect to have to pay slightly over the odds for some things in Whitby, especially food.
      But you need to ask yourself WHY so many people still visit Whitby, D Herron. I visit regularly and I live in Teesside. I’m retired and can afford to pay spend a bit of my money when I’m there. In fact, I think that it is well worth the visit just to enjoy the charm of the place. Even after over 50 years of regular visits, I still prefer Whitby to any other seaside town. It has plenty to offer for all ages.
      Of course some things could be better, as is the case in all seaside resorts. The piers have not been properly maintained and now require major work to restore them to their former glory, and some of the resort’s other iconic treasures could do with a facelift, but to complain about the difficulty in parking and the cost of fuel in getting there is strange to say the least.
      You need to buy fuel to drive anywhere and nobody is forcing you to visit Whitby. There are plenty of less popular seaside resorts where you will have less trouble parking your vehicle. In fact, I would advocate a park and ride scheme for Whitby in the high season as it would make walking around the harbour and some other areas safer and a far more pleasant experience.
      I don’t find travelling there, buying fish and chips, and an ice-cream to be an expensive day out, and there is plenty to see and do without spending any money at all.

      • Richard Ineson  October 1, 2011 at 4:59 am

        Like a lot of visitors to Whitby, Andy hasn’t considered what it is like to actually live in a town where prices are dictated by people who are on holiday and are only suffering these prices for, at most a week, and generally, only for a day.
        Day trippers aren’t bothered about paying through the nose for everything, but you should try living in this town full time.
        I have decided, reluctantly, that I am no longer willing to pay these prices and now rarely dine out in Whitby, drink a few halves per week instead of pints, have all of my groceries delivered from outside Whitby/do all of my shopping in Scarborough etc. The only thing I buy in Whitby nowadays is fresh meat.
        I used to be a good customer of many businesses in Whitby but I have been driven away, and I am sure that many people are following suit, the holiday makers can have it as far as I am concerned.

        • Richard Ineson  October 1, 2011 at 5:04 am

          I forgot to mention the park and ride, yes Andy, it would be a good idea, it has been in the planning now since 2001, and the only thing we have to show for it is the famous’ bollard which never rises’ on St. Anne’s Staithe, and a bill for £330,000.
          The ill thought out scheme, as planned, is a fiasco, which seems to be aimed solely at providing parking spaces for the commercial sector, whilst the residents pay for everything, and don’t even get a parking space in return.

          • Richard Ineson  October 1, 2011 at 5:51 am

            I also forgot to mention the Council Tax, my house is 2.78 metres wide – less than ten feet, old money; it is in Council Tax Band B, I pay £1190.20.
            The national average band is band D,

            In Whitby a Band D house owner pays £1530.77, the top band is band H, in Whitby a band H house owner pays £3050.52.

            So in Whitby the charges are :-

            Band B £1190.20 Band £1530.77 Band H £3050. 52

            In Westminster, where a lot of our M.P.s have property,these are the charges for the same bands :-

            Band B £534.82 Band D £687.62 Band H £1375.24

            In Kensington and Chelsea, one of the more prosperous Boroughs in the UK, the charges are as follows :-

            Band B £1119.07 Band D £1438.80 Band H £2877.60

            The most expensive house in the UK (although I understand that another property has recently taken this accolade) was 18-19, Kensington Palace Gardens, which was last sold for £90 million pounds and has 12 bedrooms, a jewel encrusted swimming pool, and garaging for twenty cars and whose lucky owner pays £2877.60 per annum.
            Mrs. Thatcher used to say that the Council Tax charges were lower in Conservative controlled areas because Conservative controlled Councils are more efficient.

            Both NYCC and SBC are Conservative controlled Local Authorities, so what happened here? Efficiency and fiscal prudence out to lunch again?

            Which brings us back to £28,400 showers, £330,000 wasted on ill planned park and ride schemes, £250,000 trees, £15,500 bollards which never rise, etc.etc. etc.

            • Andy Shearer  October 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

              Some very interesting and informative points raised there, Richard.
              I now understand that it must be very expensive to live in the town and I fully empathise with the residents who have lived there for a lot of years.
              As I had no idea of the cost of living for Whitby residents, my comment was based purely from the perspective of a regular visitor to the town and based on your information, I would not want to live there.
              However, I have always loved Whitby and always thought that spending my time and money there was helpful to the local economy. I can see how some residents are resentful of day trippers because of the rip off situation, although I suspect that many of them also run businesses in the town and rely on the tourist industry in order to survive.
              I’m particularly saddened regarding the state of the piers because I am an angler who used to fish from them both on a regular basis from a very young age and throughout my teens, and I’m annoyed that SBC have not maintained them using some of the money that visitors have paid over the years in parking fees etc which go directly into their coffers.
              But everyone who has experienced the charms of Whitby over the years has their own reason for doing so, and I can understand that many residents would enjoy a much lower cost of living if holidaymakers and day trippers completely ignored the place. I know that I would definately consider moving there permanently in retirement if that was ever to happen.

  11. Whitbydude  January 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    It’s the same argument about the breweries though. People complain about how much the drinks cost in the Shambles or RAW but to be honest, they hardly make any money on the drinks they sell. 20p a drink probably.

    Whitby businesses are taxed to the max. They pay almost equal rates and rent to what you would pay near London yet we receive less visitors here. Think how many coffees you have to sell to pay for 2 staff, a cafe, insurance, VAT, rental and services? quite a few every hour would be my guess.

    Ben! Get your Facebook updated fella. You haven’t been on since July tut tut the Facebook community will shun you otherwise.

  12. Wils  January 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Well put Ben. Exactly! I don’t think the sign referring to ‘market price’ is misleading at all, as the market price fluctuates so do the prices the restaurant in question pays for the fish. How is that misleading? Its fairly obvious that the point they try to make is the price is subject to change and therefore isn’t on a printed menu and put on a chalk board as ‘market price’.
    As for people moaning about the price of fish there – Go to Robertsons, Mister chips, Hadleys, Riverside e.t.c and yes it will be cheaper because they use frozen at sea which is approximately half the price of the fresh equivalent for them to buy… and are they half the price? Are they hell so no Trenchers is not expensive.

  13. Glenn Kilpatrick  January 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Interesting comments coming in here :

  14. markh  February 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    There’s a few factors at play:

    1) Most business is Whitby make there money during the Weekend + holidays. A business in, say, Newcastle, operates 7 days/week, 52 weeks. Whitby, and any resort business, has less trading days to spread its fixed costs over. You don;t get rate relief for only opening in summer.

    2) Fish prices can be vert variabe. As an earlier poster mentions – If Trenchers is using fresh rather then frozen fish then that will make the dish more expensive.

    3) Trenchers changed hand a few years ago. They might have paid too much and are trying to make back their money.

    In common. Like other resorts, a lot of people by a business in buy a business in the economic up tick. In the main, the people are amateurs i.e. never run a business before. After all, they say, how hard is to run a .. B+B, pub, f+C, Newsagents. etc. To a certain extent, they are correct they small businesses are not too hard to run. Where they fall down is that they are very hard to run AND pay themselves a wage + pay down the debt. And so the problems begin. I had an experience this summer (not in Whitby but local) where the owners has put up prices AND reduced protion size. I won’t go back there now – ever. Thats the way free choice + markets work.

    Speaking on a personal basis, I find the Magpie stunningly good value. Yo ucannot compare Magpie prices + quality (both size of protion + sitting down to eat) with some horrible little greasy spoon serving up cheap frozen fish. If you don;t want to pay Magpie prices then go to Mr Chips – they offer the best quality/price trade off in town.

    Whitby could be worse – Look at Scarboroguh, where the only good places are Laterna, Golden Grid and Harbour Bar cafe. My mum likes Mother Hubbards though.

    AS far as commetns on the price of beer goes – forget, that is a rip-off. Its a agme of PubCos ripping off tennents who try and rip off cusotmers. Its ending in tears as I type.

  15. markh  February 4, 2011 at 11:35 am

    TMITWS, I have dim memories of my Nan owning or running The Railway chippy. I guess it would have been around 1973ish. Not sure. Ill have to check with my mum.

    Back to prices. A significant factor in food pricing in the local area is down to the number of little old ladies who hop off a bus from wherever and ask for ‘a pot of tea and large jug of hot water’ and then sit there for the afternoon. A good sign of business heading fro trouble is an A-board with the dread word ‘Pensioner’s special’.

  16. markh  February 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Oh, The Royal Fisheries on Baxtergate is very, very good too.

    Their trick to fresh fish is only cook it when its ordered. Its a bit longer to get your meal but the fish is fantastic.

  17. bucko  February 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    As a very regular visitor to Whitby I think there is enough choice to choose how much you want to pay for your cod & chips- it just might involve a longer walk.

    However, having had lots of dealings with the licensed trade I can’t imagine for a moment that the likes of Shambles & Raw only make 20p on each drink sold. It will almost certainly be more than that.
    I do like a drink when in Whitby and there are few places that can boast as many pubs with character but, the average price of a pint seems to be exceeding £3- which will keep me mainly going to the Sam Smiths pubs in the town and visiting others for ‘one at last orders’.
    Incidentally, I was out at Staithes the other day and with everywhere shut we went to Dalehouse where it was £1:80 for Fosters and £1:60 for John Smiths- my kind of prices.

  18. The Man In The White Suit  February 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Roll on wetherspoons, was in one on Saturday at 10 in the morning, had several pints and brekkie for less than £15, then went in the executive box and had free beer for 5 hours and a lovely meal.

    A great day , and hardly spent a penny

  19. josie dawson  February 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    There are places in Whitby that are a rip off, however visitors seem to frequent these places the most. Be adventurous wander the streets of Whitby, there are many eating establishments out there give them a try, im sure you will be more than pleasantly surprised at value for money.

  20. markh  February 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Forget Wetherspoons, roll on Enterprise Inns + Punch going under – at long last.

    I know Wetherspoons has it knockers but you can always get good beer at a good price. Food OK – MaccyD prices but more range + better quality.

    By the way, brave saying you went to the executive box (though if thats Leeds or ‘boro I pity you …) This is a website for the Socialist Non-Workers/PubclIc Sector Republic of Whitby.

    • The Man In The White Suit  February 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      You can’t say that about the people who post on here!

  21. markh  February 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Oh and I always like Sam Smiths. Although I drink the The Chandos ( just up from Trafalgar Square) more than The Plough – trying to avoid too many old fellow old pupils from Eskdale.

  22. angela  February 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Weatherspoons are great for cheap and cheerful..but if you get one in Whitby..the rest of the pubs/cafes/little eateries..and therefore choice..will go out of the window as they cannot complete with a huge chain which would be a shame for Whitby.
    Weatherspoon’s have no character, charm, atmosphere and soon get very used/grubby/scruffy etc etc and very crowded (people shouting above one another in the evenings)…I would not welcome one in Whitby.

    • matty  March 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

      wetherspoon pub opens soon 28th I believe, having seen the angel hotel do you still hold the same view? some of the older ones granted are worn but have you visited any opened in the last year?

  23. Glenn kilpatrick  February 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Me neither Angela, Large chains such as weatherspoons, subway, macdonalds etc have no place in a beautiful town like Whitby and should be discouraged from the area. Whitby is popular because it is unspoilt, so why spoil it with tat.

    • Lee  August 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

      I have to disagree with you there Glenn. I think a Weatherspoons would make certain places re-think their prices. Sure they can’t match Weatherspoons for price but they can surely lower their prices. £5+ for a pint and a half is just a complete rip-off.

      In all the years i’ve spent visiting Whitby (i go quite a lot due to a caravan there) I can honestly say that Whitby seems to have gone downhill in the last few years due to the stag and hen parties that seem to have invaded from the north. Not a pretty sight. And Whitby is a place I love.

  24. markh  February 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Nope disagree. Weatherspoon’s fit in unnoticed in towns – they don;t have big golden arches, or horrible signs (Subway). I’ve found weatherspoon’s to be much cleaner and in better maintenance than a lot pubs. Face it, the BigA has always been a c**p-hole. I remember the whole Laughton’s opening – I think that would be 1988ish. Horrible place.

    I think a lot of little eateries and cafes are already well on the way to going out of business. They are just in the standard Whitby business cycle: economy grows – people sell-up and buy a little cafe/b+b/pub in whitby, paying way too much for it. Economy carries on growing – people trade. Economy tanks – visitos stop spending, little business etc go bust beacuse they are carrying too much debt or have not managed to get on top of the capital costs before the slowdown.

    I vaguely remember the fall out furing the early 80s (81ish), I have a very memory of the last down cycle – 92ish. The UK has had, in short the equivalent to 2 booms/up cycles, I expect it to have the equivalent to 2 busts.

  25. angela  February 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Check this out…ever been to MM? You cant miss this:

    Its the one with all the chavs puffing their heads off outside on the street…it is their flagship multi million pound pub…with massive signs outside saying Wetherspoons!!…that was 2007…it got tatty, grubby etc within a year..not only does the wind turbine attract the lightening….now it has ~ ahem ~ burned down!!

    In terms of ground space, it almost rivals the cathedral-esque size church!!

  26. bucko  February 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I must add- while I like a reasonably priced pint I can’t see a Wetherspoons doing much for a town like Whitby (though the towns bar staff and management may be able to get better wages and hours there).
    I think the point I was getting at is that pricewise the gap between the ‘top end’ places and what you’d maybe class as ‘your average pub’ isn’t that much at all.
    And while your daytrippers are happy to pay whatever (captive audience??) – ‘frequent visitors’ (like myself) are more inclined to try and make their Whitby money stretch out a bit.

  27. The Man In The White Suit  February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Not sure this is the right place to put this glenn, but thought we could have a discussion about all the pubs that are in trouble, the bottom house has been sold and will no longer be a pub, am I allowed to mention rigours about other pubs Glenn ? I don’t want to get the site in trouble!

  28. The Man In The White Suit  February 21, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Rumours not “rigours”

  29. markh  February 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I saw in the London Gazette that the licensee couple at The Little A had gone under the other week.

    There are a number of challenges for pubs at the moment, top mos being the gross stupidity of he PubCos, who are trying to push their own incomptence down onto the licencees i nthe form of high rates, high beer prices, etc.

    Pubs are facing a number of changes – people drinking at home more (mainly as a result of PubCO price gouging), stricter drink driving laws – you local has to be your local, and the normal range of cyclical factors – recession, dumb people paying too much for pubs in the up tick, etc.

    If I was to go out on a limb I would guess the following would be in trouble (I have no inside knowledge):

    The Jolly Sailor,
    The Granby (I tink) – The pub opposite Boothams on skinner street.
    Rosie Ogradys/george/cinema arms. – if wetherspoons turn up.
    The Golden fleece.
    I guess most villages will go down to one pub. Normally a freehold where the capital cost has been sunk a long time ago.
    Any PubCo pub.
    Station Inn or whatever its called – next to the toilets.

    This is a very iomplete list. Just places that I have been in recentlyish and that spring to mind.

    Some I see surviving:

    The Plough will survive (Sam Smiths).
    The ones along church street stand a chance of surving although I can see one going.
    BigA – if wetherspoons move in.

  30. bucko  March 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Just heard the First In Last Out is to close and the landlord of Little Angel is in Whitby Gazette on his recent bankruptcy.

  31. markh  March 2, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Poor s.ds at the Little A. The big change is not VAT, etc but the lunacy of the Pubcos overleveraged business model and then dumping the costs on the licensees. If any is interested int taking on a pub then I can offer free advise – Don’t – at least not not until Enterpise Inns + Punch go under.

  32. jgh  August 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I always use the Railway for my F&C.

  33. jgh  August 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Plus, there’s not tourists around!

  34. Richard Ineson  September 14, 2011 at 11:37 am

    The problems facing the pub trade can be traced back to the Beer Orders introduced by the Conservative government in 1989. This legislation was supposed to introduce competition into the licenced trade – no tied houses, guest beers, no brewery allowed to own more then 2000 pubs etc.

    Before this time, breweries would never sell a pub, even if it was losing money, because they wouldn’t want another brewery to buy it; they maintained the premises, inside and out and you never saw a boarded up, or neglected pub.

    Area managers would visit all of the brewery’s pubs regularly to make sure that everything, was being run along the right lines, and in those days, licencees were valued employees of the brewery, not just rent slaves.

    The brewereies did control the prices of beer and the rents of pubs, but mostly, they were sensible, and because they had been in the business for a long time, they knew the potential of their property and products and made sure that prices and rents were sustainable.

    The Beer Orders failed to do their job because the big brewers like Whitbreads weren’t going to be told how to run their businesses, they simply moved out of brewing altogether, sold off the loss making/low profit/no potential, pubs and moved into other fields – hotels, gambling etc.

    The pub companies which came along, just saw pubs as a get rich quick scheme, rents rocketed, they charged a premium on the beer which the licencees had to purchase via the pub companies, instead of directly from the brewers, if a pub is successful, the rent goes up until it isn’t.

    The pub companies have bled the licenced trade dry, pubs which once would have been regarded as a sure fire route to wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, are now boarded up, and are derelict blots on the landscape, throughout the British Isles.

    As to increasing choice/reducing prices/increasing competition. There are pub companies now who own around 7000 pubs, prices in pubs have never been higher, most licencees with whom I come in contact, are very unhappy about their contracts with the pub companies, the licencees are now often working 18 hours a day; choice, in certain respects, has been increased, the trouble with the increased choice is that, a beer that you might enjoy today will not be seen in your local ever again.

    Real choice has actually been reduced, most large towns used to have at least one brewery which produced a range of beers, from premium Barley Wines, to Light Ale and seasonal special brews, apart from the staple draught bitter. Now, there are many micro breweries, some of which produce excellent beer, but the big boys such as John Smiths still dominate the trade mainly because of their advertising budgets and ‘economy of scale’ brewing practices.

    Everywhere you go you see ‘Fosters’ ‘Carling’ ‘John Smiths’ ‘Greene King’ where is the choice here?

    The quality of beer available from the micro breweries is sometimes very variable in quality; there is now a move, from the micro breweries to produce beer down to a price, to accommodate licencees struggling to make a profit – I was recently sold some beer in Whitby which was nothing more nor less than what used to be called ‘near beer’ in prohibition days, in the U.S.A. 3% and £3.10p per pint.

    Customers are being ripped off in pubs in an alarming fashion, this is not primarily the fault of the licencees, the main factors are extortionate rents, business rates and other overheads; pub companies are just milking the cash cow, and the cash cow is now running dry.

    We have all heard tales about the pernicious business practices of these pub companies, gullible people are allowed to take a pub which has no chance of ever making a profit, they last about six months, until their life savings run out, and then another mug moves in.

    The practice of charging micro brewers to be listed on the pub companies lists, and then requiring them to deliver to a centralised depot, which might be many miles from the brewery; when the pub for which the beer is intended might be just round the corner from the brewery. All designed to eliminate competition.

    Oh for the days when you could guarantee being served a good pint of beer by a landlady/lord with a smile on their faces who weren’t expected to work until they fell exhausted by the beer pumps.

    The lesson here is that no government, especially a Conservative government, who supposedly espouse the principles of ‘market forces’, should get involved in controlling business in the belief that they can legislate to increase competition and choice.

    The licenced trade is in a sorry state due to greed, and it will all inevitably, end in tears.

  35. Dave Heselton  September 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    The above post by Richard Ineson is 100% correct and I could not have put it better myself; I was in the pub / licensed trade for 20 years and I experienced the changes in the trade at first hand.

    The government under Mrs Thatcher sowed the seeds of destruction of what is essentialy a very traditional part of the culture of this country – The Pub – The Inn – The Tavern.

    The rate at which pubs are closing accross the country is alarming, and allthough there are several reasons for this, the number 1 reason is the greed of the Pub Companys, an industry which uses pubs and tennants of pubs as a money making operation, with absolutely no interest what so ever in the community, the the public or the people who use and support the pub.

  36. Folks Of Whitby  March 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I suppose they are just charging what the market will bear. As long as the tourists keep coming and keep paying those prices then that’s for the good, isn’t it? It keeps businesses open and people in work. And that’s for the good, isn’t it?

  37. Terri Groves  March 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    another vote for the railway even if its to far out of our way to get to regularly

    id not noticed prices going up to much to quickly in town but most of them are well worth the money anwyay.

  38. Josh Fellows  March 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Always the Quaterdeck for us – we love sitting on the battery as we have ours – be excellent when the old Big A is redone though as it’ll be excellent for the kids.

  39. An old Whitby regular  May 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

    It’s good to see for once some people are looking forward to Wetherspoons opening. They still haven’t shaken this reputation I find to be complete nonsense.
    If you don’t want to go in a pub then don’t. Wetherspoons are always busy in smaller towns for only a few reasons. They offer some of the best products on the market at reasonable prices. They have some of the best looking pubs around and some of the nicest people working in them.
    I’ve seen pubs in small towns close when Wetherspoons have opened because they have not raised their game. On the flip side I have also seen some much improved pubs.
    A little healthy competition can only help improve service in Whitby and bring the prices down to a reasonable level.

  40. Sneck lifter/O.P  June 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    After our usual walk to robin hoods bay we were charged £3.95 for a pint of theakstons old pequilier ? in the “Laurel” Bring on (googies) Weatherspoons

  41. Dave Heselton  June 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

    In most cases the problem of over the top prices in pubs is not the fault of the landlord / tennant, infact its usualy not even the brewery to blame, the greedy culprits in most instances are pub companies.

    For a start, the rents are almost always ridiculously high, but it dosent end there, the poor old tennant must buy ( by contract ) his or her beer from where the PubCo tells him, always at inflated prices with all the discounts going to the PubCo.

    The PubCos will want a percentage of the juke box, a cut of the gambling machine, quite often they will ask for a share of catering profits too, infact it is almost impossible to make a good living renting from a Pub Company, hence the reason why so many have not lasted long in Whitby or simply gone bankrupt, or just run off with county court baliffs chasing not far behind.

    The average prices in Whitby now for a pint of beer is £3.00 / £3.10, I would recommend a Sam Smiths pub ( cheapest in town ), or join a club, the best one in my opinion is The Rifle Club, but been a member I am perhaps biassed.

  42. Polly Perez  February 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    As a regular visitor to Whitby I must agree that the prices in pubs are very high, much higher than where we live in trendy South Manchester. The fish and chips are expensive too, but come on, they are worth it, the best in the land, as the queues outside the magpie show. The frozen stuff is cheaper but its not as pure white, meaty textured and altogether yummy. Worth every penny

  43. Polly Perez  February 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Whitby has managed to repel all the big burger chicken and coffee chains and that adds to it’s charm but Wethersppons is different for several reasons.
    1) Some serious money needed spending on the Angel and the other buildings, soa large organisation is needed
    2) Wetherspoons are very good at what they do, food and drinks are well priced and perfectly adequate.
    3) I agree with an earlier comment, the Big A is the only pub in Whitby I have never been in, largely because it was so uninviting, so Wetherspoons can only improve it!

  44. vicky  July 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    as fan of whitby i am concerned that a rip off parking ride scheme may be introduced soon sorry too say if this does happen and parking charges are intoduced too town centre plus a five pound a day charge re park and ride will be parting company with whitby go three times a year despite high prices and disgusting price of petrol too get their but if the five pounds spent for chippy or souvinier shop has too go too parking and greedy council sorry will be going elsewhere taking car and money too wherever what do other visitors have too say about this future planned rip off will you still go and pay too park free parking should remain no too cattle market qs for the bus in and out of whitby shame greed will spoil a nice tourist town petition needed too stop park and ride and overchargimg for parking disappointed fan

  45. Discerning Customer  November 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Whitby Fish & Chip Shops:
    Best: Silver Street Fisheries
    Worst: Moorings Fisheries
    Coldest: Mr Chips
    Greasiest: Parade Fisheries
    All Skin and Boniest: Jerry’s (Pier Road)
    Most inconsistent: Railway Chippy
    Unfriendliest: Magpie takeaway

    Eat-in Fish & Chips:
    Best: Magpie Cafe
    Most expensive and smallest portions: Trenchers

  46. cod and chips  April 3, 2014 at 2:27 am

    well i visited the railway chippy .i really now wish i had gone elsewhere.i can honestly say they were a real let down .fish was really thin and overcooked,batter was very thin and soggy as were the chips swimming in lard .yukkk

  47. Madeleine  April 12, 2014 at 5:05 am

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    Here is my site; local flower shops in omaha ne, Madeleine,

  48. vicky  April 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

    re rip off whitby you aint seen nothing yet thanks too greed by scarborough council now the park and ride will add much more too your day out think about it all the petrol down too whitby then either get ripped off at the machines or pay i understand two quid each return park and ride i go at least twice a year too whitby now one trip will be lucky sorry you have added one charge too much happy scarborough council jealous whitby getting too much trade well done no doubt ruined it for shops etc ps wont be coming too sunny scarborugh too pay your rip off charges either dissappointed visitor whitby fan

  49. femme d'un certain âge  May 14, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Vraiment captivant : je crois que ce post devrait
    intéresser ma meuf


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick