It is common knowledge to every Brit, that the word pub holds a different and personal meaning to everyone. Whether it’s a family get together for a Sunday Roast, meeting your friends on a Friday night, or even a chance to meet new people pub’s remain part of our cultural identity.
The significant presence of pubs in Britain, can be tested within three ways -
1 – Drive for 5-10 minutes in any UK destination and count how many pubs you see.
2 – Ask 10 different British Strangers for directions and see how many mention a pub.
3 – Scroll down your newsfeed and see how many of your British friends post about a pub they are at.
With this in mind, the future of the traditional pub ideology appears still intact, yet internal aspects of its legacy when analysed may appear under threat.
In relation to the cultural identity aspect of pubs in Britain, the history of these iconic venues has grown and changed from when they started until the present day. Originally pubs were defined as “public houses”, meaning that they were catered to a “everyone is welcome policy”. However, the affordability for every individual for pubs in the modern day has arguably become increasingly tailored towards to the middle-class masses. Evidence of this can be shown below where the Officinal National Statics demonstrate the amount of pub closures (Chart1), plus the significant increase in the price of draft lager in pubs (chart2).
Does the increasing price of alcohol create a fatalistic future for our locals’ pubs? Is that alone responsible for the unruly amount of closures throughout the due course of two decades?
Perhaps it is time to recognise that there is a positive solution to this eye watering crisis.
Founded in 1979, Wetherspoons has grown to over 900 outlets across the whole of UK by cofounder Tim Martin. Since then, the nation has devoured its budget food and beverage packages from every age group. Whilst the “support your local” philosophy looms around every rural neighbourhood, it is perhaps time to recognise the positive impacts of the Wetherspoons presence which has taken over towns and cities in the UK. See below 10 positive impacts of this brand, which has greatly uplifted the spirits of British pub culture.
1 – Affordable food and drink for working-class individuals.
Did you know that you can buy a pint for under 5.00 in Central London? Wetherspoons despite being challenged with extortionate overheads in Central London, maintains an affordable option for locals and tourists who are seeking an alcoholic beverage. This offer is also shared across the UK.
2 – Preserving historical landmarks from abandonment
You can see this for yourself by stepping into any historical pub taken over by Wetherspoons in the UK, you will notice the pictures of the local history which remain on the walls. Had it not of been for the investment of Wetherspoons, the legacy of many of these venues would not be on show as a result of abandonment leading to decay and lack of consideration for local culture.
3 – Sustainable employment
According to their website, Wetherspoons employed over 37,000 people across their pubs and Hotels in the UK. This staggering amount of employment surely contributes to the distribution of wealth across the UK, compared to the persistent closures of over priced pubs.
4 – Wetherspoons has provides accommodation
With over 50 Hotels across the nation, Wetherspoons also goes one step further in providing affordable accommodation for its consumers allowing guests to stay in historic venues within a reasonable budget.
5 – Order and Pay apps mean you no longer need to leave your seat
Did you know that you can order your food and drink at the bar now via an app? Previously, you could expect a lengthy wait to order your food and drinks at the bar. This innovative new creation means not only can you eat at an affordable price, but also have the added luxury of table service.
6 – Weekly routine offers are always available
WETHER it’s a Steak Tuesday, Fish Friday or Sunday Brunch, there is a diverse range of deal options to compliment the British food Culture and more. As well as this, there has previously been introduced international foods as part of a weekly offer including Indian food to introduce something different to the menu. Nevertheless, the Great British menu has never been neglected. Another bonus of this is alcoholic drinks are included within the meal for just a small additional fee and this is clearly priced on the menu. Don’t you remember that time where your bill at the restaurant was more than your food?
7 – It is a family friendly environment
Aside from the typical late evenings on a weekend, Wetherspoons promises a family friendly environment including kids’ meals and menu options.
8 – Its brand identity creates a sense of Familiarity
The Patterned plates, distinguishable carpets and dim lighting ensure that it is almost instantly recognisable when you step into a Wetherspoons venue. By doing this, consumers are ensured to get the same experience in every venue that they go, ultimately resulting in a more homely feel as they dine.
9 – The brand has raised over £16 million for the charity Clic Sargent.
Clic Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for children with Cancer, supporting young children and their families. As the brand continues to grow, it can also do more to support this charity demonstrating how a large corporate influence can still give something back to a caused which is shared and value by everybody.
10 – Wetherspoons offers a weekly magazine for its consumers.
“Wetherspoons news” is an almost an inflight styled magazine sharing news across politics, common culture and general interest to consumers. Found in every venue, this non mandatory attribute to its brand provides an extra mile effect for those who attend Wetherspoons.
In Conclusion, Wetherspoon’s alone provides a sustainable preservation of culture, employment and identity within the pub culture across Britain. Whilst doing this, it also doesn’t break the bank for consumers who wish to indulge in hospitality on a reasonable budget. Whilst it may face persistent scrutiny for its quality and alarming rate of growth, it is arguably providing a more promising future for the historical pub landmarks which we value. So, it’s time to ask one important question moving forward ….
Would we rather board up our windows, or open the door to what promises a guaranteed preservation of pub culture?
Ben Oakes - Recruitment Resourcer
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