JD Wetherspoon, the pub chain has announced that it plans to open 200 new pubs over the next five years which will create 15,000 new jobs. The company started in 1979 and now has 931 pubs across the UK and Ireland.
The jobs will be in new pubs as well as existing ones and will include bar and kitchen positions as well as management roles. The founder of the company, Tim Martin, explained that they are proud to offer so many jobs and looking forward to opening new pubs, many in areas where they have not yet got one.
Martin has been a big campaigner against the 20% VAT that food and drink sales attract, claiming that it should be reduced to the 7.5% that is paid in supermarkets for food and drink. He explained that in the last financial year the chain paid £600m in taxes and that will go up to around a billion in the enxt five years. He says he is concerned that VAT is one of the biggest dangers to pubs in the UK. He explained that each pub pays around £662,000 each year in tax. Their revenues have gone up.
Recently they got in a row with Heineken, the Dutch brewer and they stopped serving their products. They were previously buying about £60m of their products a year but they fell out with them after claiming that they had refused to supply a new pub they set up in Ireland. It was said it happened because Heineken had asked for a personal guarantee that the chief executive would pay their bill if the company could not. However, analysts thought it was more to do with tehir pricing policy which undercuts other Irish pubs.