JD Wetherspoon has ‘random pricing syndrome’, says chairman

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fiscal admission: Tim Martin (right) has revealed JD Wetherspoon's pricing structure is 'random'
Fiscal admission: Tim Martin (right) has revealed JD Wetherspoon's pricing structure is 'random'
Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said the logic behind the company’s pricing structure was random during an on-stage interview.

Martin made the announcement when talking to The Morning Advertiser​ editor Ed Bedington at the MCA Pub Conference yesterday (3 June).

“I’ve just been to three pubs in a half mile each other and they have different prices. I call it RPS – random pricing syndrome.”

The company’s food and drink prices differ across the country.

Martin revealed that he had asked the landlord of one of the pubco’s first sites, who has been in the business for 20 years, if his pricing was scientific, and said: “‘No, it’s not, I just fly by the seat of my pants’, he said.”  

Democracy and freedom

Martin added: “It’s very difficult for anyone to counteract because even we don’t know what we’re doing.”

The chairman was asked whether he could see any negative impact from Brexit on the industry. Martin has been a strong advocate of leaving the EU, with the production of 500,000 beer mats backing a 'leave' vote in the 2016 referendum.

“If you look around the world [the things that] have created prosperity are democracy and freedom," he said.

“Japan has grown to one of the biggest economies after introducing democracy.

“You still get chaos when humans run things, but that’s the underpinning philosophy behind it.

“One of the downsides you’ll have seen, in this debate, is that the Channel ports are going to be gridlocked, it will be like Dunkirk.

“What we’ve said is 'OK, all the things you can buy from the continent, we can buy from elsewhere'.”

JDW will offer sparkling wines and wheat beers from the UK​ instead of Champagne and beers from the continent, from next Monday (9 July).

Other products rejected

Brandy and Jägermeister will be the next products to be replaced, he explained.

Martin also admitted he had never used the Wetherspoon app, which allows customers to order food and drinks on their smartphones.

“I said the app will never work. I’ve never used it and I never will,” he said.

The app has seen an increase in sales since its introduction in March 2017, the company’s investors report.

“There are limits to IT, so the answer is never be a leader.

“Go last, when everyone else has got it [right].”

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