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Pub closures impact the cost of Wetherspoon’s maintenance bills

The Five Swans, Newcastle

JD Wetherspoon says the cost of maintaining its sites has plummeted dramatically since the latest closures were enforced.

The company was spending £1.6m a week – more than £6m a month – on repair and maintenance work in its sites before Covid, but that has now fallen to a weekly run-rate of £250,000.

Expenditure on utilities, head office, the distribution centre and IT, meanwhile, has been reduced from £4m pre-Covid to £1.1 million during the closure period.

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Cost containment measures have been a key focus for the 900-site pub group in a bid to reduce outgoings while it is not allowed to trade.

More than 99% of its 37,000-strong workforce have been furloughed on 80% pay, while nearly 400 employees at head office and airport sites have been made redundant.

During the current closure period, the chairman and non-executives’ pay has been reduced by 50%, and the CEO’s by 25%.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon said that before reopening in July and August last year, it spent more than £13m implementing measures designed to keep its pubs Covid-secure.

Comprehensive social distancing and hygiene practices were introduced, including reduced capacity levels, the spacing out of tables, the installation of a number of floor screens between tables, the addition of till-surround screens to the bar and extensive signage.

JD Wetherspoon: “Over 80% of suppliers paid in full throughout the pandemic”

Tags : JD WetherspoonmaintenancePubs
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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