Food & Drink Thursday, September 21st

Why your Wetherspoon's round was (even) cheaper yesterday

Food & Drink Thursday, September 21st

Why your Wetherspoon's round was (even) cheaper yesterday

Regulars at Herefordshire’s three Wetherspoon’s pubs may have noticed a few extra pounds in their change yesterday.

From the everyday early-starters, to the dinner crowd cashing in on Wing It Wednesday (Spoon’s own humpday chicken night) customers cashed in on 7.5% one-day-only sale on soft drinks and food.

Why? It’s not like drinkers are taking to the streets to protest the exorbitant prices of pints of Carling at Britain’s much-loved pub chain.

The reason is – unlike a pint of Carling – a refreshingly moral stand.

Under the Corbynian title ‘Tax Equality Day’, the aim of the discount was to paint the picture of world where pubs were unshackled by the relative burden of VAT.


At the moment, a statement from Wetherspoons said, all food and drink sales in pubs are hit with a 20 percent VAT charge – while supermarkets benefit from zero-rate VAT, meaning they can use that saving to sell cut-price alcohol.

“A reduction in the level of VAT [in pubs] on a long-term basis will generate growth and create jobs in the important leisure and hospitality sector,” the chain’s chairman Tim Martin said.

The principle is simple. If food and drink are almost as cheap when you go out as when you stay in, then you’re more likely to go out – meaning more trade, more jobs and more money going through local businesses.

And hopefully less nights spent pre-gaming your way through two bottles of cheap vodka with the same friends in the same room for the 100th time.

Whether or not Spoons attempts to flag up this up to customers, and ultimately to lawmakers, is yet to be seen. But with the county’s emerging food, drink and tourism scene such a big part of what make Herefordshire tick, any shift in government policy towards more favourable VAT rates would be a huge win for local business.                                                            he

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