Like many other boozers, Wetherspoons reopened last weekend as lockdown restrictions were lifted further – but it’s not been an easy ride for the pub chain.
Back in March, while waiting for the government’s furlough scheme to kick in, chairman Tim Martin faced intense public backlash after reportedly telling his 34,000 team members they would not paid in the interim, and encouraging them to apply for jobs elsewhere.
Many pub-goers warned that they would neither forgive nor forget how the chain had chosen to treat its staff during the pandemic – and it appears this could indeed be the case.
Introducing ‘Neverspoons’: an app that shows the location of independent pubs near Wetherspoons – so that punters can avoid the chain and support local businesses instead.
On the live map, you can see green pins – signifying independent pubs – while Wetherspoons are marked with red pins.
If you prefer, you can also flick through a list of Wetherspoons in the vicinity and will then be presented with other options.
‘There are too many of these former pubs in amazing buildings, now derelict, that used to be the central hub for a lot of communities,’ said Shane Jones, who developed the app.
‘If you can put some money in the till of a smaller independent pub through the use of this app, then it’s done the job I intended it to.’
Creators of the app also said that they launched Neverspoons in direct response to the events in March, which includes the company refusing to pay its suppliers until lockdown had ended.
Trouble could be brewing on the horizon for Wetherspoons, as people take to Twitter to praise the map.
‘Neverspoons cracking idea, get it right up the greedy bastard,’ tweeted one person.
‘Never give “spoons” pubs your business again with the Neverspoons app. Stick together people and boycott greedy business owners who sacked staff in a pandemic and left them with nothing,’ wrote someone else.
Another pub-goer tweeted: ‘I’m here for the Neverspoons app.’
The Neverspoons app can be downloaded through App Store or Google Play, and is free to use.
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