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The Daily Telegraph – October 2009

Britain’s beer lovers will soon be able to pay for a pint in their local pub using gift vouchers like those popular in high street stores, a new report discloses.

The first-ever voucher scheme designed for use solely in licensed premises is set to be launched next month and pubs are being urged to get involved.

Giant pub companies Greene King, Young’s, Thwaites and Hall & Woodhouse have already signed up and their pubs will be among more than 1,000 outlets where the tokens can be used when the scheme launches on November 12.

Dominic Lavan, managing director of the company behind the new scheme, Pub Tokens, said it will allow pubs to cash in on the £3.2 billion spent on gift vouchers every year in Britain.

“This is a great opportunity for the on-trade and it gives consumers another option rather than buying vouchers for the high street,” he said.

Customers will be able to buy vouchers from the Pub Tokens website in £10 and £20 denominations. These can then be spent on food, drink and accommodation at pubs listed on the site. Pubs then redeem the vouchers with Pub Tokens.

For pubs taking part it is a way of attracting new trade, Mr Lavan told the trade magazine The Publican.

He said: “These are a great gift for Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, birthdays or any other occasion and it encourages people back in the pub for special occasions.

“People will not only redeem the vouchers but they are always going to be inclined to up-spend in cash while they are there.

“If we are going to compete with the high street we have to have a scheme supported by a wide variety of pub operators.”

Publication: Daily Telegraph October 2009

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The Independent – October 2009

The best gift bar none? Beer vouchers! 

People unsure about what gifts to buy for friends and relatives have long relied on unoriginal presents such as high street store vouchers. Now, they will be able to provide their loved ones with something they might really want – Pub Vouchers.

More than 1,000 pubs have signed up to take part in the scheme. Pubs owned by the brewers of Old Speckled Hen, Bombardier, Tangle Foot and LCL Pils will be accepting the vouchers as payment for beer from 12 November.

“These are a great gift for Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, birthdays or any other occasion and it encourages people back in the pub for special occasions,” Dominic Lavan, managing director of Pub Tokens, the company behind the scheme, told The Publican.

The concept of exchanging vouchers for beer dates back to the 19th century. Under the new scheme, drinkers will be able to buy tokens from the Pub Tokens website in £10 and £20 denominations, before using them in exchange for buy drinks and food at the bar. Mark Hastings, a spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “Sometimes if people get vouchers from their aunt, they put them in the drawer and forget about them. But in reality, book vouchers and the like have been largely successful so there is no reason why pub tokens cannot be also.”

Asked whether the tokens could be accused of promoting irresponsible drinking, he said: “Millions of people every week socialise in British pubs, this is just a way of making it easier for them to enjoy that.