|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: JDW|
|Tim Martin (Chairman)|
John Hutson (CEO)
|Products||Public houses and hotels|
|Revenue||£1,818.8 million (2019)|
|£131.9 million (2019)|
|£72.8 million (2019)|
Number of employees
J D Wetherspoon plc (branded as Wetherspoon, commonly known as Spoons) is a British pub company in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Founded in 1979 by Tim Martin, the company operates nearly 900 pubs, including the chain of Lloyds No.1 bars, and a growing number of Wetherspoon hotels. With its headquarters in Watford, Wetherspoon is known for converting unconventional premises into pubs. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
Tim Martin opened his first pub in 1979 in Colney Hatch Lane in Muswell Hill, London. Many of the other early Wetherspoon pubs were also in the western part of Haringey. The name of the business originates from JD, a character in The Dukes of Hazzard, and Wetherspoon, the name of one of Martin's teachers in New Zealand.
During the 1990s, Wetherspoon began a policy of routinely closing its smaller or less profitable outlets, often replacing them with larger premises close by. In 1998, Wetherspoon introduced the oversized pint glass to promote the "full pint". This initiative was withdrawn, supposedly because customers were still asking for top-ups, but arguably because other pub chains did not follow its lead.
In 2015, Wetherspoon was made to pay a total of £24,000 for "direct racial discrimination" to eight individuals who were refused admittance to one of its pubs in north London based on what a judge described as "the stereotypical assumption that Irish travellers and English gypsies cause disorder wherever they go".
On 16 April 2018, Wetherspoon deleted all of its social media profiles. Chairman Tim Martin cited the "current bad publicity surrounding social media, including the trolling of MPs and others" as a reason for the decision.
Weekly food promotions include the Steak Club on Tuesday, the Chicken Club on Wednesday, the Curry Club on Thursday, Fish and Chips on Friday and Brunch on Sundays. Wetherspoon claims to be "the only large pub firm which opens all its pubs early in the morning", serving breakfast and coffee. The full food menu is available well into the late evening.
Wetherspoon hosts two Ale Festivals in March/April and October each year, when a larger range of guest ales is available in each pub, and a Cider Festival in the summer.
Wetherspoon bars are situated in the passenger terminals of many UK airports, including Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Heathrow Airport, and Stansted Airport, as well as at several main railway stations, including Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street, London Cannon Street, London Liverpool Street, and London Victoria, with a new bar due to open in Glasgow Central. The main station buildings at Aberystwyth railway station were converted to a Wetherspoon pub Yr Hen Orsaf The Old Station and received a National Railway Heritage Award in 2003.
Wetherspoon pioneered non-smoking areas in pubs before the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005, The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and the Health Act 2006 in England and Wales became law in 2006.
The first Wetherspoon's pub in the island of Ireland was The Spinning Mill in Ballymena, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, which opened in 2000. The first Wetherspoon pub in the Republic of Ireland, The Three Tun Tavern, opened in Blackrock, County Dublin, in 2014. Another opened in Cork City in 2015.
Every Wetherspoon pub has a unique carpet, drawing on the location, building and name. They are produced by Axminster Carpets and, having more than the usual six colours, have to be partially handmade on old fashioned looms, costing up to £30,000 – twice as much as stock designs.
Mags Thomson visited every Wetherspoon in Great Britain from 1994 to October 2015. She reached a total of 972 which included 80 that have subsequently closed.
In 2018, the company chose Wolverhampton as the location of the National JD Wetherspoon Museum. The existing pub would be expanded to take in the whole former Co-Op Department Store, to include a hotel and gift shop. In July 2019, they bought the former carbon nightclub in Galway city with the plan of opening a bar and restaurant. 
The firm — whose founder is a strong supporter of Brexit — replaced champagne with British sparkling wines and Australian wines on 9 July 2018. The firm claims the goal of this is to sell cheaper drinks and to get cheaper alcohol to its two million weekly customers.
During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom the government advised members of the public to 'socially distance' and avoid areas like pubs, clubs, restaurants and gyms. As a result many pub chains closed. However, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin rejected the government's advice and refused to close a single pub. The Government went on to prohibit the opening of pubs as from 21 March. Martin was later reported to have refused to pay its 43,000 employees for the period of closure until reimbursed by the Government, unlike other national chains, and encouraged them to find employment elsewhere, such as the supermarket Tesco.
The company also told its suppliers it would not pay them until its 874 pubs were allowed to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.
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