Greene King pubs are to promote large wine glasses in a bid to draw women aged 35 and over into its bars
A pub chain is to promote large wine glasses, equivalent to a third of a bottle, in a bid to draw women aged 35 and over into its bars.
The controversial decision by Greene King is part of a feminine revamp that will see some bars adorned with flowers, glossy magazines and complimentary toiletries.
The company, whose estate includes more than 1,600 pubs, is also looking to recruit more female landladies to run and feminise its outlets.
One of the key changes will be to promote 'much larger' wine glasses for these 35+ women who have been labelled SWAGs - Sassy, Wise and Grown Up.
These are the 250ml glasses which equate to a third of a bottle of wine and have provoked alarm in some quarters that women can get dangerously drunk without realising it.
Just one glass equates to three units of alcohol and would put a woman at risk of being over the drink drive limit.
A spokesman for the firm defended the move, saying: 'Just like men enjoy their beer in a pint jug glass, women enjoy their wine in an extra large fine wine glass.'
Director of recruitment and training for the firm, Caroline Hollings said: 'We’re trying to get pubs to really get behind offering the right things for these women.
'Pubs often fail to accommodate women eating and drinking alone or out with other female friends. Typically pubs generally target mainly men, under 25s and families and we need to redress the balance.'
Pub Partners asked 50 of their female licensees at a recent Public Housewives away day, to assess what they offer at their pubs for the SWAG market and how they could attract these women away from the usual places they visit.
Miss Hollings said: 'Our ladies really went to town, after all they should know what women want.
'They’ll be introducing much larger wine glasses, glossy magazines, more flowers and toiletries alongside different menu options and drink and quality coffee offers.'
She said: 'It’s not rocket science but pubs really need to look at themselves with fresh eyes and see where they can tap into this very lucrative market.'
The company stressed it will also offer wine in smaller glasses of 125mls and 175mls for those who prefer smaller measures.
If the feminisation of the pubs proves a success, one day, macho names like the Red Lion could be replaced in favour of The Lippy & Eyeliner, while The Greyhound might become The Cougar.
Cougar, it is claimed, is the name chosen for a group of predatory women who enjoy dating younger men.
One of the firm's pub landladies has the decorators booked in to repaint her female toilets in a hot pink.
While two sisters running another pub are putting in new ladies loos with added toiletry extras and refurbishing a back bar as a retreat for women who love good wine.
On the plan to hire more women to run its pubs, Miss Hollings said: 'The impression people get when thinking about running a pub is that there has to be a man behind the bar and nothing could be further from the truth.
'We have some really successful women running our pubs and we need to change the perception and get more women who are business minded and great managers looking to this industry as a self employed business option.'
Earlier this week the group, which is also the brewer behind Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen, reported 'very strong' Christmas trading.However, sales suffered a setback in January's snow storms.
Like-for-like sales across its managed pubs - which include Old English Inns and the Hungry Horse chain - were up five per cent in the 35 weeks to January 3, but this slowed to 4.3 per cent three weeks later thanks to the poor weather.
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