Wetherspoon Gives Lowdown On New Meals At Its Irish Pubs

By Emily Hourican
Wetherspoon Gives Lowdown On New Meals At Its Irish Pubs

In an effort to persuade customers back into pubs post-lockdown, Wetherspoon is launching a range of new meals across its nine Irish pubs. Here we get the lowdown on what this means, and why.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Hospitality Ireland Magazine, in December of 2022.

Tell us about this new range, and what introducing it means.

The new range includes over 20 new meals and over 20 new drinks, to appeal to the broad customer base that visit our pubs in Ireland, from on-trend dishes such as katsu curries, burgers and vegan burrito salads to favourites such as the chicken and peppercorn stack and chicken wing baskets. Dublin-based brewery Porterhouse and a Waterford-based distillery will feature on the menu, with a wide range of craft beers and spirits.

Why is it important to work with local suppliers?

Working with local suppliers has been an aim of Wetherspoon for some time – long before we opened the first pub in Ireland. In fact, the breakfast that is served in all Wetherspoon pubs includes Loughnane’s sausage, bacon produced by Dew Valley, and Ballygarvey eggs, which are used for about 60% of all breakfasts and meals with eggs. In Ireland, particularly, the traditional Irish breakfast also includes clonakilty black pudding.

Wetherspoon pubs are proud to work with Irish suppliers Dunbia and Foyle’s for all the beefburgers, steaks and grill meals served in our pubs. Only 100% Irish beef is used in the burgers served in Ireland. Foyle’s have been supplying steaks for around five years. Broadly, 60% of these steaks have been from cattle supplied by farmers with farms on the island of Ireland. Dunbia has been supplying beefburgers to Wetherspoon since 2007, sourcing meat from over 10,000 farms throughout Ireland. Working with microbrewers and distillers in Ireland has allowed us to introduce a number of local ales, craft beers and spirits to the menu.


Tell us about the thinking of Wetherspoon’s around the Irish market.

As with the UK, we want to provide customers in Ireland with great hospitality in comfortable surroundings at sensible prices.

Tell us about what’s new or improved at Wetherspoon’s in the last couple of years.

Three new pubs and one new hotel: Keavan’s Port, Camden Street, Dublin – pub and 100-room hotel – August 2021; the South Strand, Hanover Quay, Dublin, December 2021; and an Geata Arundel, Waterford, April 2022.

On what areas are you currently concentrating on developing?

Wetherspoon is sticking to its long-held policy of heavy investment ‘in the workforce, in buildings, in marketing, and in contracts with landlords and suppliers,’ despite the huge rise in inflation.

The Forty Foot venue in Dún Laoghaire.

What makes a great pub?

Wetherspoon pubs take inspiration from a 1946 essay by George Orwell, ‘The Moon Under Water.’ Orwell’s article began, ‘My favourite public-house, the Moon Under Water,’ and went on to list features that made this pub ideal. The thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water is what people call its ‘atmosphere’.

To begin with, its whole architecture and fittings are uncompromisingly Victorian.


In the Moon Under Water it is always quiet enough to talk.

Many as are the virtues of the Moon Under Water, I think that the garden is its best feature, because it allows whole families to go there instead of Mum having to stay at home and mind the baby while Dad goes out alone.

Orwell then admitted he knew of no pub that ticked all the boxes of his ideal, writing, ‘I know pubs where the beer is good but you can’t get meals, others where you can get meals but which are noisy and crowded, and others which are quiet but where the beer is generally sour.’

What does Wetherspoon’s do best?

We try never to be too ‘showy’ about our virtues, leaving customers to decide what we do best. That’s all that counts.

The Great Wood venue in Blanchardstown.

What are the changing trends in hospitality – people’s expectations, new elements, etc.?

From The Mail: Wetherspoon is facing ‘a momentous challenge’ to persuade pubgoers back into its bars after they got used to drinking supermarket beer during the pandemic, the company’s boss has said. Tim Martin revealed that while his business had cut losses significantly, it has still not managed to return to a profit since the pandemic, and sales remain lower than in 2019.


During lockdown, dyed-in-the-wool pub-goers, many for the first time, filled their fridges with supermarket beer – and it has proved to be a momentous challenge to persuade them to return to the more salubrious environment of the saloon bar,’ he said.

How has reopening been?

Most commentators – including most publicans, understandably – predicted a post-lockdown boom, in which the public would react to enforced cabin fever by embarking on a celebratory spree, but the reality has, in contrast, been a painstakingly slow recovery in sales – for some, but not all – accompanied by great inflation in costs.

Do you think that the pandemic has changed what we look for in pubs?

We don’t think customers’ opinions have changed, necessarily, but they may have forgotten what makes a visit to the pub so important to the local community and the art of conversation.

Any other plans on the horizon for the next year or so?

Focusing on our pubs in Ireland and serving the communities around them. We’re particularly proud that the fundraising efforts of customers and staff have raised over €100,000 for Ireland’s children’s Hospice, LauraLynn.


How many pubs in total?


Twelve – nine in the Republic of Ireland and three in Northern Ireland – and two hotels in the Republic of Ireland.

How many staff members?

Republic of Ireland: 585 employees. Northern Ireland: 140 employees.

Meals served (a week)?

We do over 30,000 meals a week in the Republic of Ireland.

Percentage breakdown between food and beverage?

Very broadly, 35% food, 65% drink.

Signature dishes?

That’s a difficult one, but customers seem to like our breakfasts, lunch deals, chicken meals, pizzas, and fish and chips.

Price of a pint of lager?

Between €3.60 and €3.85 for Coors, and between €3.30 and €3.95 for Foster’s.

Price of a pint of stout?

Between €3.30 and €3.95 for Beamish.

Average price for a main course?

Between €7 and €8, but all main meals include a soft drink or coffee in this price.

Read More: Hospitality Ireland Winter 2022: Read The Latest Issue Online!