Local operators of one of the country’s largest pub businesses have raised concerns following a mandatory change. 

It comes following instructions from Stonegate asking what it calls its “pub partners” to now order their glassware through an internal system. 

A brochure sent from Stonegate to its operators instructs publicans to order glassware through its Pub Hub Marketing Toolkit going forward. 

Dozens of the business’s establishments are leased and run by tenants in Norfolk in areas including Sheringham, Diss, Thetford, King’s Lynn, and Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: A beer glass - Picture: NewsquestA beer glass - Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, a spokesperson for Stonegate Group said: “Over the past year, Stonegate has reviewed our marketing support for our pub partners. 

“As part of the review we found that branded glassware distribution worked on an ad-hoc and ‘first-come-first-served’ basis, and therefore decided to make it available to all pub partners.” 

But some operators have branded the plans as nothing more than “adding extra cost” while offering "inferior quality glassware”, citing nice glasses as part of the customer experience. 

There have also raised concerns raised about the widget on the base of glasses, which can sometimes be omitted from unbranded glassware. 

Eastern Daily Press: Pubs in Norfolk could face further blows - Picture: Simon FinlayPubs in Norfolk could face further blows - Picture: Simon Finlay (Image: Newsquest)

Some suppliers have already been informed of the decision, advised by Stonegate to direct buyers back to its Pub Hub and order through them instead. 

Its spokesperson added: “We are also directing funds into income generating initiatives that benefit pub partners and their guests. 

“Over the next few months, we will be rolling out further campaigns, supporting our pub partners to grow their sales and connect with their guests and communities.” 

Since the start of the year, at least ten pubs have shut their doors across Norfolk, due to rising energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis.