A pub group with interests in Aberdeen and Inverness has revealed plans to charge drinkers 20p more for beer at peak weekend times.
Stonegate Group owns pubs in Aberdeen including The Triple Kirks, The Black Dog, The Bobbin, Foundry, Murdos Bar, Slains Castle, as well as Lauders and The Caledonian in Inverness.
It also owns chains including Yate’s and Slug & Lettuce.
It first brought in peak time surcharges for major sports events in 2018.
Dynamic pricing could be coming to Aberdeen and Inverness pubs
The surcharge has now been made permanent in some of the pubs when footfall is high – to meet the costs of having more staff on site.
Photos of signs informing customers of the extra charges were shared on social media, alongside complaints from pubgoers.
A notice in one Stonegate pub said “Dynamic pricing is currently live in this venue during this peak trading session”.
The sign says the surcharges will pay for extra staff, extra cleaning, plastic pint glasses, and “satisfying and complying with licensing requirements”.
“Any increase in our pricing today is to cover these additional requirements.”
X (formally known as Twitter) users were not happy about the pricing plan and many said it would now drive customers away from the popular chain.
What are the rules about dynamic pub pricing in Scotland?
Scottish licensing rules make it illegal for pubs to make short-term changes to prices at the bar.
Legislation introduced in 2009 means prices must be fixed for a minimum of a 72-hour period, the equivalent of three days.
The rules were brought in to stamp out cheap happy hours that could encourage binge drinking, but would also stop firms from increasing prices for a short period.
However, the legislation would still allow Stonegate to increase prices for periods lasting more than 72 hours they know will be busy, including weekends from Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday, the festive season, Hogmanay and periods with high-profile football or rugby fixtures.
A spokeswoman for Stonegate Group said, “Whenever we adjust prices, including offering great value for money for our guests through things like promotions and discounts, we always do so in line with the relevant legislation in Scotland.”