‘And it was £1 a shot,’ he added with a smile, admitting that our presence in there was about as welcome as Ryan Giggs offering to introduce your wife to John Terry.

We’re leaving. Now. Right Now.”

That was me to my friend after approximately five minutes in the pub he had decided he wanted to watch the football in last night.

It wasn’t that I had bumped into a ghost from the past I wanted to steer clear of, nor was there anything really wrong with the pub itself. It just didn’t feel right.

I suppose I had been waiting to get served at the bar for at least four minutes without anyone making eye contact to indicate my presence had been felt. Instead, hordes of young student types behind the bar chatted and served young student types across the bar who waved around discount cards to pay for a pint of Foster’s.

This would have been all right when I was a student, I thought, but I’m not one now and the target market in this Leeds sports bar is probably closer to my eldest son’s age than my own. He’s nearly four.

While I was waiting at the bar (and there was no way I would have been happy to stand there for eight minutes as recent research has suggested people will) my friend found a space to watch Chelsea attempt to stifle Atletico Madrid. Maybe if it had been a free flowing game with a team I cared about I would have had another reason to stay, but instead, we dashed out in the rain to take sanctuary around a poseur’s table in more salubrious surroundings, drinking two pints that I had gladly parted with the best part of a tenner for.

This pub/bar was half-full, there was no football on and the majority of folk were either eating or enjoying relaxed conversations around tables with friends and family. This is more like it, I thought to myself as I sunk into my seat.

‘We could have got a cheaper pint in there,’ my friend said. And he was right, we could have done, but we would have waited another 15 minutes to get it and then stand with one hand protectively placed over the top of the glass to ward off the threat of spillages from excited fans or well-oiled undergraduates.

‘And it was £1 a shot,’ he added with a smile, admitting that our presence in there was about as welcome as Ryan Giggs offering to introduce your wife to John Terry.

It reminded me just how important price still is when it comes to going to the pub. ‘Value’ has become the buzz word of late, perhaps it was always thus, and there is definitely truth in that customers are willing to pay more if the service is good and standards are high.

But there are limits.

Before heading to Leeds yesterday I bought a pint at station pub in London for the princely sum of £5.25. I nearly corrected the barmaid by saying ‘no, I ordered a pint, not a magnum champagne’. Yes the service was good, the environment was excellent and the standards were high but I was still left thinking ‘how much!?’ as I stretched that one pint out over a two-pint time slot.

It is the same back at that sports bar in Leeds. Yes the customers go in their masses because there are about 1,000 widescreen TVs that you can see from every nook and cranny in the pub but would it really be packed out if it didn’t take discount cards and run promotions?

I suspect not.

Later, I visited a pub that is venturing into the world of cocktails. They position themselves as a higher end place to go, but with several competing bars nearby, including a Spoons, it has no option but to price sensitively.

Yes, you can compete by providing an alternative offer and you can charge a little more. But it must be a little and not a lot because price sensitivity is still a factor and customers will be quick to vote with their feet and run to the comforting arms of a competitor.