JD Wetherspoon today revealed that its revenues have halved over the past six months as restrictions have taken a heavy toll on its business.
The company notched up sales of £431m for the six weeks to 24 January 2021, compared with £933m the year before.
Like-for-like food sales declined 48% during the period while bar sales fell 58%.
That led to the chain reporting pre-tax losses of £46m versus profits of £58m the year prior.
Wetherspoon has criticised the constant changes of direction by the government, following the first UK lockdown in March last year.
Prior to Christmas, the tier systems that were in force led to two thirds of its pubs closing.
Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon plc, said: “Wetherspoon and its employees, along with the hospitality industry, have worked very hard to comply with ever-changing government guidelines. It is disappointing that so many regulations, implemented at tremendous cost to the nation, appear to have had no real basis in common sense or science – for example, curfews, ‘substantial meals’ with drinks and masks for bathroom visits.
“The future of the industry, and of the UK economy, depends on a consistent set of sensible policies, and the ending of lockdowns and tier systems, which have created economic and social mayhem and colossal debts, with no apparent health benefits.”