Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Are Spoons Feeling the Squeeze?
First came the repricing of their guest ales. This has seen them remove the one-price-for-all charge and introduce different bands according to strength. A necessary measure, it was felt, to try and redress some of the lost revenue. Of course this is already common in other pubs, but was apparently opposed by some managers who were afraid of losing sales.
More recently came the revelation that despite selling some 400,000 breakfast each week, it wasn’t actually making much from them. Some analysts felt they had simply priced them too low. Makes a change for a pubco, I suppose.
Now two further changes are coming into force without too much publicity. One is that many of their pubs are abandoning their 7am opening and will now be opening at 8am instead. Seems that most people just weren’t ready for a pub visit that early in the morning.
By the way: My suggestion of raising revenue by selling booze to these early risers was deemed “impractical”. Note “impractical”, not "uneconomic”.
The second change is removing the option of the guest ale as part of the meal deals. This means reverting back to the days of old when you had to negotiate with the bar staff for that privilege. Which means even if you are willing to pay more, it’s pot luck whether the person can be bothered or indeed knows how to do it.
This is somewhat of a personal regret, as I was part of the campaign that got it changed it in the first place and my letter on the issue appeared in Wetherspoons News. Sadly the discrepancy between the likes of Ruddles and something decent has grown too large for them to ignore.
However, it’s not all bad news. As one idea is consigned to history, another one comes to fruition. Yes, the dream of a large veggie breakfast has finally become reality with the arrival of their new menu last week. But there’s more-cheese & tomato toasties as well!
If only they had tried my 7am boozing plan...