Wetherspoons Plans To Reopen Pubs In June
30 April 2020, 12:27
Wetherspoon bosses have vowed to reopen their chain of pubs “in or around” June.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin and chief executive John Hutson have announced plans to reopen pubs across the country in June, despite the government not yet outlining when the current lockdown restrictions will be lifted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The chain hasn’t detailed how they plan to reopen, given that social distancing measures will have to remain in place for quite some time.
All 867 of Wetherspoon pubs have remained closed since 20 March when the government ordered the closure of all social venues.
They said: “The company’s immediate priority is to manage the business during the current ‘lockdown’ period. It is also starting to plan for a reopening of pubs and hotels in or around June.”
In the meantime, the chairman and chief executive will be taking 50 per cent pay cuts while other board members will also slash their salaries.
Wetherspoon said it expected to save around £60 million this year due to the government’s decision to scrap business rates until the end of the year.
The company feel their pubs are well structured to handle social-distancing regulations as their locations tend to be larger than other pubs.
They added: “Wetherspoon pubs are substantially larger than average, and most have outside facilities.
“The company is likely to make some changes to its operating model, assuming increased social distancing, and anticipates a gradual recovery in customer numbers.”
However, experts have already predicted pubs will be among the last to reopen, potentially having to keep their doors shut until autumn this year.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has been reminding the nation: "This disease is not going to be eradicated. We have to accept we are working with a disease globally for the foreseeable future.”
Social distancing measures are likely to remain in place for the next year at least, until an approved vaccine can be developed for public use.