Cleaning inspections are essential for all businesses that sell food and are often used by customers when deciding where to spend their money. If a business isn’t up to standard, the Food Standards Agency provides guidelines on how to improve processes and services which can help avoid customers choosing to take their money elsewhere.

69% of shoppers now actively review the ratings of venues beyond restaurants, including supermarkets and other retailers. Venues with a hygiene rating below 3 risk losing 34% of their customers, meaning these ratings are becoming increasingly important for all venues throughout the hospitality and retail industries.

Using food hygiene ratings from the Food Standards Agency, Property Inspect has identified the most and least hygienic cities for pubs, clubs and bars across the UK.

The cities with the most hygienic venues in the UK

RankCityNumber of VenuesNumber of 5 Ratings% of 5 Ratings
1Gloucester222195.45%
2Nottingham25622788.67%
3Lincoln927783.70%
4Derby20816981.25%
5Carlisle1018180.20%
6Oxford15212179.61%
7Newcastle28522679.30%
8Exeter1169077.59%
9Coventry20015376.50%
10Winchester1068176.42%

With only 1 venue falling below a 5, Gloucester has the most hygienic night out venues in the UK. While there are only 22 venues with hygiene ratings in the city, it’s still an impressive feat to have such a significant percentage receiving the highest rating.

There are 31,699 top-rated venues in the cities included in our study, making up 63.71% of all pubs, clubs and bars. This is also 1 venue for every 2,113 people. 

The cities with the most unhygienic venues in the UK

RankCityNumber of VenuesNumber of 5 Ratings% of 5 Ratings
1Worcester1054240.00%
2Cardiff2039044.33%
3Norwich1747844.83%
4Cambridge914549.45%
5Bath1718650.29%
6Birmingham50525550.50%
7Swansea20610651.46%
8Stoke on Trent25613251.56%
9Sunderland23812652.94%
10Leicester1759956.57%

Worcester is home to the least hygienic night out venues, with only 40% of pubs, clubs and bars receiving a 5 rating. Thankfully, there were only four cities in our dataset where less than 50% of venues received lower than a 5 rating.

In the age-old battle of Cambridge v Oxford, Oxford fared best, ranking in the top 10 while Cambridge placed in the bottom 10.

Birmingham has the second most venues of all with almost exactly half receiving a rating of 5. Leeds, the city with the most venues, came out 11th worst, with 56.94% of their 627 venues rated a 5.

The importance of cleaning inspections

Regular cleaning inspections allow your team to monitor their own performance when it comes to keeping your property clean and enables you to identify recurring issues that can be resolved before the Food Standards Agency turns up at your door.

Centralised hygiene inspection reports is a highly effective way to track historical data if you’re a single-site business or a way to keep an eye on your entire operation if your business spans multiple venues. This way, your team can share their processes and performances to keep everyone working to the same standard.

A 2020 poll found that cleanliness and hygiene were the most important considerations for 64% of customers, a nine-point rise from 2019’s 55% of customers. The same study also found that the pandemic has made four in ten customers more likely to report hygiene breaches than before, making lax cleaning policies an even greater challenge to all kinds of businesses.

Full Listing

CityNumber of VenuesNumber of 5 Ratings% of 5 Ratings
Gloucester222195.45%
Nottingham25622788.67%
Lincoln927783.70%
Derby20816981.25%
Carlisle1018180.20%
Oxford15212179.61%
Newcastle28522679.30%
Exeter1169077.59%
Coventry20015376.50%
Winchester1068176.42%
Salford17613174.43%
Chelmsford1299674.42%
York21715671.89%
Wolverhampton18012871.11%
Liverpool38026369.21%
Preston1359167.41%
Sheffield35223065.34%
Bradford47931265.14%
Southampton1559863.23%
Brighton34621863.01%
Portsmouth18911962.96%
Hull19412262.89%
Plymouth1569862.82%
Bristol41025662.44%
Newport1147162.28%
Chester19111861.78%
Peterborough905561.11%
Manchester37222761.02%
Wakefield33019759.70%
Leeds62735756.94%
Leicester1759956.57%
Sunderland23812652.94%
Stoke on Trent25613251.56%
Swansea20610651.46%
Birmingham50525550.50%
Bath1718650.29%
Cambridge914549.45%
Norwich1747844.83%
Cardiff2039044.33%
Worcester1054240.00%
UK497593169963.71%

Methodology

Property Inspect analysed data from the Food Standards Agency on the top 40 most populous cities in the UK. The percentage of clubs, pubs and bars receiving a 5 rating was used to determine the hygiene quality of venues in each city.