Wetherspoon to put workers on its board

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Tim Martin: 'One of the most surprising statistics has been the apparent low level of transmission of the virus in pubs'
Tim Martin: 'One of the most surprising statistics has been the apparent low level of transmission of the virus in pubs'

Related tags: Wetherspoon, Wetherspoon chairman tim, Wetherspoon founder tim

Managed pub operator Wetherspoon has revealed that it is planning to promote a number of ‘worker directors’, who are experienced pub or area managers, to board positions.

It said this is to protect the DNA of the business and to counteract the negative effects of corporate governance. It said it is hoped the creation of more experience of the ‘front line’ at board level will help to protect the structure of the business for future generations. 

The news comes as Wetherspoon revealed its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 25 July 2021. Like-for-like sales were down 38.4% while revenue before exceptional items was £772.6m, down by 38.8%. It made a loss before tax of £154.7m, which represented a fall of 353.7% from last year.  

Applications for vacancies

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, revealed that, on average, the company had received a reasonable number of applications for vacancies but some areas of the country, especially “staycation” areas in the West Country and elsewhere, have found it hard to attract staff. 

“In the past year, the country moved, in succession, from lockdown to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, to curfews, to firebreaks, to pints with a substantial meal only, to different tier systems and to further lockdowns,” he said. 

“Pub management teams, and indeed the entire hospitality industry, had an almost impossible burden in trying to communicate often conflicting and arbitrary rules to customers. One of the most surprising statistics has been the apparent low level of transmission of the virus in pubs.” 

Zero virus outbreaks

He added: “For example, in more than 50 million customer visits, recorded in the second half of 2020, before the introduction of vaccines, Wetherspoon had zero outbreaks of the virus, as defined by the health authorities, among customers.” 

He added Wetherspoon is cautiously optimistic about the outcome for the financial year, on the basis that there is no further resort to lockdowns or onerous restrictions. 

“The biggest threat to the pub industry, and also, inter alia, to restaurants, theatres, cinemas, airlines and travel companies, relates to the precedent set by the Government for the use of lockdowns and draconian restrictions, imposed under emergency powers. This threat, which is also a threat to civil society and democracy, has been regularly articulated by many commentators, including the former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption,” he added. 

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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