High Third-Party Fees Lead to 31% of Pub Guests Booking Directly

High third-party fees are leading to a significant number of pub guests booking directly with the establishment. According to recent statistics, 31% of guests are choosing to book directly with pubs, rather than using third-party booking sites. This trend is thought to be due to the high fees charged by third-party booking sites, which can eat into the profits of pubs and other hospitality businesses.

While third-party booking sites can be a useful way for pubs to increase their visibility and attract new customers, they come at a cost. Many sites charge high fees for each booking made through their platform, which can be a significant expense for pubs, particularly those with low-profit margins. As a result, many pubs are now encouraging guests to book directly with them, either through their own website or by phone, in order to avoid these fees and boost their bottom line.

Understanding High Third-Party Fees

Third-party fees are becoming increasingly common in the hospitality industry. These fees are charged by third-party booking platforms, such as Booking.com and Expedia, to hotels, pubs, and restaurants for facilitating bookings. While these platforms are certainly useful for businesses looking to increase their online presence, they come at a cost.

High third-party fees can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line. In fact, a recent survey found that 31% of pub guests now prefer to book directly with the venue to avoid these fees. But what exactly are these fees, and why are they so high?

Third-party fees typically range from 15-30% of the booking price. For example, if a guest books a room for £100 through a third-party platform, the hotel may only receive £70-85 of that booking. This is because the platform takes a cut of the booking price as a commission.

While this may not seem like a huge amount, it can quickly add up. For a business that relies heavily on third-party bookings, these fees can eat into profits and make it difficult to compete with other businesses that are not subject to the same fees.

One reason why third-party fees are so high is that these platforms invest heavily in marketing to attract customers. This includes advertising on search engines, social media, and other online platforms. The cost of these marketing efforts is passed on to the businesses that use the platform in the form of higher fees.

Another reason why third-party fees are high is that these platforms offer a range of services to businesses, including customer service and payment processing. While these services are certainly useful, they come at a cost, which is passed on to the businesses that use the platform.


Pubs have recognized this shift in guest behaviour and are taking proactive measures to incentivize direct bookings. They are implementing various strategies, such as promoting exclusive offers, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences available only to guests who book directly. These efforts aim to provide a compelling value proposition that encourages guests to bypass third-party sites and establish a direct connection with the pub.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the advantages of direct bookings for pub guests. Direct communication with the pub enables better flexibility, personalized customer service, and the ability to address any specific requests or concerns effectively.

In conclusion, the escalating fees associated with third-party booking sites have led to a significant portion of pub guests choosing to book directly with the establishments. This trend reflects a growing demand for price transparency and the desire to avoid additional costs. By promoting direct bookings and offering enticing incentives, pubs can capitalize on this shift in consumer behaviour, foster stronger relationships with their guests, and enhance their overall guest experience.

The Pubs Advisory Service can help your pub business to become more profitable. If you need help, then please get in contact with us today by clicking HERE.

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