- Unclean tables. Back in the 1970s-1990s the best pubs were rigorous about clearing and wiping down just-vacated tables within about 10 minutes. Nowadays one has to expect a table-top swamp when sitting down. The change seemed to happen in the late 1990s.
- Invisible staff. Too many bar staff seem to have a default setting of lurking out of sight of customers or otherwise avoiding eye contact, even in the best pubs. This also has got much worse post-1990s.
- Oddly-limited pubs hours. Too many of the better pubs are still stuck on largely pre-1980s hours, back in the days of 12-2.30, 6-10.30. As ever, individual and local circumstances do matter but for most pubs the modern pattern of drinks trade suggests weekdays 12-3 (if nearby workers/visitors/shoppers), weekdays 5-11, weekends 12-11. Food if available at all should be so whenever open, up to 9.00 (at least). To a customer, anything less is irritating and suggests the pub is just a hobby for the landlord. Given the huge overheads for pubs (rent, rates, taxes), limited hours seem even more puzzling, especially for good, popular pubs.
- Staff greeting you with "Are you alright?" To which the accurate answer is "no, I'm waiting to be served, as you can see". What's wrong with traditional variants of "what would you like?"
- Pointlessly gloomy pubs. Many pubs, especially the 'best' ones, seem obsessed with having low light levels, often including pointless nightlight candles, which serve no purpose as they're too dim to see by and clutter tables. So customers now have to bring their own lights if they need to see, e.g. to read the menu sheets also cluttering tables.
(I can't abide pubs which allow their regulars to sit or stand round the bar to such an extent that it becomes a real challenge to get served - Ed)