Not the most inspiring title I grant you, but if the industry is going to adapt and survive, it needs to happen.
This industry has a nasty habit of constantly looking backwards and looking for scapegoats to blame.
Take the smoking ban. Pubs were closing before it, and it sped up the inevitable process.
Why were pubs closing already? Because the 70s were over. People were taking more interest in their health. The fact that you were likely to live into your 70s meant the public mindset changed from living a quick fun life to a longer, fuller one.
Look at the increase in average age of first time parents. People were aware that living longer meant they could enjoy themselves more rather than rushing.
Pubs started dying because there wasn't enough customer demand for alcohol - consumption started falling and still is today.
Basic economics - supply and demand. The pubs that started offering more, such as a better wine choice or better beer were more likely to survive.
In today's parlance this means coffee, WiFi and great service. Yes, niche pubs will survive as long as the area they serve has demand for what they offer.
But the majority of pubs need to realign their offer with what their customers want. Putting customers first, not what they think a pub should be.
The sugar tax introduced at the Budget is a great opportunity for forward looking pubs to stand out from the crowd, offering a great range of non-alcoholic drinks to the 20 per cent (and growing) of the population who don't drink.
Going further than a small selection of sugary bottles or cans – perhaps a range of fruit teas for example (The Tea House in Stoke Newington takes this to the limits).
Those that move forward should be seen as pioneers, not lambasted with the phrase 'but you're not a pub anymore'.
If I'd told you 10 years ago that people would pay more for a frothy coffee than a pint of beer in a pub you'd laugh me out. What used to differentiate pubs 10, even five years ago is now expected by many pub-goers.
By 2020 I predict the only way to stand out as a pub will be on levels of service. Those pubs that make it the easiest for customers to find out what's on (Drinks/TV/Events) and other information they want will win custom from others.
In the same way that restaurants that take bookings from Facebook messenger will grow, pubs need to look at making life as easy as possible for their customers.
After all, a pub is the community lounge: A place where everyone is made welcome, comfortable and provided for.
Make yours the most welcoming and most comfortable in the way customers want, and you'll win.