You could be at the bar with your lips around a cold pint of Stella as soon as June if JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin is to be believed. The owner of the sprawling UK pub chain yesterday told investors his intentions to have Wetherspoon pubs back up and running ‘in or around’ June.
The swirly carpeted pub and hotel chain stated that it believed it’s well positioned for a comeback once restrictions have eased next month, with social-distancing measures easy to enforce due to the size of its venues. ‘Wetherspoons pubs are substantially larger than average, and most have outside facilities,’ said Martin. He added the pub would introduce’increased social distancing’ to its business model.
All 867 of the chain’s pubs and hotels closed their doors to punters back on March 20 when venues were ordered to shut up shop, and the government is yet to share its plans about reopening social venues to the public. However, many analysts have placed pubs as one of the last venue types to reopen once lockdown ends due to the logistics and practicalities of social distancing.
Back in March before venues were ordered to shut, Martin claimed that he’d be keeping his venues open for as long as possible, believing that closing pubs would not prevent the spread of the virus.
Currently, 99 percent of Wetherspoons staff are being paid by the government’s furlough scheme and the pub chain is looking to raise £140m to help it through the period of lockdown.
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