Wetherspoon refuses to pay suppliers until lockdown ends
JD Wetherspoon has told its suppliers it will not pay them until pubs reopen after the coronavirus lockdown, according to an email seen by sustainability website Footprint.
The move follows an announcement on Tuesday by Wetherspoon's controversial founder and chairman Tim Martin that the pub chain's 43,000 staff would not be paid from Friday until the government's “furlough” scheme to pay 80% of employee wages kicked in.
In the email to suppliers JD Wetherspoon said it was asking for a moratorium on payments “until the pubs reopen, at which point we intend to clear outstanding payments, within a short timeframe”.
Pubs and restaurants were forced to close by the government last Friday as it tried to stem the spread of the pandemic. Martin's approach will increase pressure on already hard-pressed suppliers.
“We understand that this puts significant pressure on our suppliers, but we are kindly asking for your assistance during this very difficult period. A number of our suppliers have already offered assistance and we would be most grateful for your cooperation as well,” the email states.
Martin has become more vocal as the crisis grows. He said he would keep his pubs open in defiance of the ban before he was ordered to close by the government.