50 years in the hospitality industry

As we celebrate our 50th year of business, we decided to take a look back at the changes the hospitality industry has gone through over the last five decades.

Back in the 1970s, the world looked a little different to how it does in 2023.

It was a decade that saw Britain join the European Economic Community, Concorde make its first ever transatlantic flight, the Reliant Robin launch, and Red Rum win the Grand National for the first time.


In the world of media, David Bowie killed off his Ziggy Stardust character, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of The Moon, The Exorcist hit cinemas and Roger Moore stepped into the role of James Bond for the first time.

The 70s was a massive period of change in the world of hospitality. Pubs began to focus more on the food they were offering, instead of just being solely drinks based. 1974 saw the now famous Beefeater brand launch, with its first location opening at The Halfway House in Enfield. The concept was a straightforward one, simple food such as prawn cocktails and char-grilled steaks to rival Berni Inns.


Interiors also went through a big change as establishments began to put in more effort to their aesthetic as customers expected more from their dining experience. For the most part it was well received. However, as Betty Elson, a landlady who was retiring in the 70s described it “it’s all chrome and carpets”.

We think it’s fair to say that Betty wasn’t a fan of the changing times…


As the years passed by, hospitality venues continued to be the social hubs in communities across the country.

One of the biggest changes since the turn of the century was the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007. Smoking was commonplace in pubs with them being social places and many feared the ban would have a detrimental effect on business, and for the most part, it was successful. Studies showed that there was a rise in food sales as people felt more comfortable bringing their children to pubs as there was no second-hand smoke.


There’s no denying the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 hit hospitality hard and posed the biggest threat ever to the industry. Evidence shows that economic output for 2020 was 42% lower than 2019. Two years of Covid restrictions reportedly did £155bn worth of damage. Fortunately, we are now out of the other side and the recovery of the industry continues.


As a company that has been in the industry for 50 years, we’ve seen it go through so many phases and changes. We’re incredibly proud to have played a role in it and to be a trusted supplier to some of the leading pub, bar and restaurant groups in the space. Here’s to another 50 years!

If you have an upcoming project and would like to work with us, you can send an email to enquiries@carlick.co.uk or give the office a call on 0161 727 3090