Rising wages will hit results at JD Wetherspoon this financial year, the budget British pubs group said this week.
The company, run by businessman Tim Martin, said it had no immediate plans to recoup the higher costs by raising prices, but would review that position as the year progresses.
"As has been widely reported, unemployment is at a record low, putting upward pressure on wages. As a result, Wetherspoon is increasing pay of our staff starting from this week," Martin said in a statement, without giving a figure for the pay rise.
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"It is difficult to be too precise at this early stage of the current financial year, but we now expect a trading outcome slightly below that achieved in the previous financial year," he added.
Sales And Costs
Wetherspoon, which runs more than 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland, reported a 5.5% rise in comparable sales for the 13 weeks to October 28, the first quarter of its fiscal year.
Total sales rose 6.2%.
As well as higher wages, the company has been dealing with a new sugar tax on drinks, rent increases and higher power bills.
Recovering from a recent appendix operation, Martin also said he would be working part-time from home while recuperating.
Wetherspoon, which started in 1979, said it expected to open between five to 10 pubs this financial year.
News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland.
Meanwhile, The Irish Times reports that approximately 250 people employed by Wetherspoon in the Republic of Ireland will receive a pay rise from January 1, 2019.
In other Wetherspoon-related news, the pub group intends to accelerate the expansion of its operations in Ireland with the opening of two more pubs in the country next year, according to The Irish Examiner.
Wetherspoon is investing €3 million in the redevelopment of Co. Carlow’s old Trader’s Bar, where it intends to open its sixth venue in the Republic next June, while the group’s seventh Irish venue, a €20 million so-called super-pub/hotel on Dublin’s Camden Street, is scheduled to open at the end of 2019.
Wetherspoon has also been given the green light to develop sites on Dublin’s Abbey Steet and in Waterford. However, a timeline for these developments has yet to be revealed.
Article posted by Dave Simpson for Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.