Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has described lockdown restrictions as “a complete muddle”.
“For any pub or restaurant company trading in different parts of the UK,” he said, “the constantly changing national and local regulations, combined with geographical areas moving from one tier to another in the different jurisdictions, are baffling and confusing.”
JD Wetherspoon saw a 27.6 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the 15 weeks to November 8. In October alongside full year results, Wetherspoon reported that like-for-like sales were down 15 per cent in the first 11 weeks of the current financial year.
The founder of the pub chain added: “A particular anxiety in the hospitality industry relates to the future timescale for the ending of “temporary” regulations. Veterans of the industry will recall that the afternoon closing of pubs between about 3pm and 6pm was imposed in the First World War to encourage munitions workers to return to their factories but the requirement for afternoon closing was only abolished in 1986.”