Breakfast boom brings record sales for Wetherspoons

The pub chain is now selling 400,000 breakfasts a week - pushing sales towards £1bn...

by James Taylor
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
Most pub owners will tell you that this is a rotten time for business at the moment. But not Wetherpoons. The cheap and cheerful pub chain has just reported record results for the year to July 25: sales were up 4% to £996m, while profits jumped 7% to £71m. Its decision to open at 7am for breakfasts seems to have paid dividends over the summer, while it opend another 47 pubs during the period, taking its estate to 775. Just think how well it'd be doing if the Government ever takes notice of boss Tim Martin's ongoing protests about tax and regulation...

The prospect of going for a fry-up in Wetherspoons before work, amid the heady aroma of stale booze and cleaning products, might fill some of you with a cold icy dread. But it's going down a storm: it's already flogging 400,000 breakfasts a week, not to mention 600,000 coffees - which means it's already one of the biggest coffee shops in the UK (and it only started opening early in April). All told, it's clear Wetherspoons is doing a much better job than most pubs of weathering the current storm.

Not that any of this was going to stop boss Tim Martin having a pop at the Government about over-taxing and over-regulating the pub industry - a frequent hobby-horse of his. He claims Wetherspoons shelled out some £400m in taxes last year - and he reckons that the anti-booze policies adopted by the previous Government unfairly hit the pub industry relative to the off-trade.

Time will tell whether the new administration will be any more helpful. But given that politicians don't generally like to be seen to be propping up the booze industry, we wouldn't hold our breath if we were him...

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