A report by The Scotsman’s Terry Murden reveals there is much doom and gloom in the pubs business, with reports that more than 730 have closed since the smoking ban was introduced into Scotland just over four years ago.
However, pubs group, JD Wetherspoon, appears to have proved it is possible to take advantage of the change in the law, and in drinkers' perceptions, with sales hitting almost £1 billion – more than 1200 times revenues during its first year of trading in 1984. Pre-tax profits, after stripping out write-downs of £10.6 million, were 7.3 per cent higher at £71 million giving The Scotsman's business pages sub-editors the opportunity for a spiffing heading.
Since April, more than 90 per cent of Wetherspoon's pubs have been opening at 7am, offering customers coffee and breakfast, and it now sells more than a million breakfasts and coffees per week, putting it second only to McDonalds for morning meals. In terms of coffee, it ranks third after Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
Adds The Scotsman, the company plans to open another 250 pubs over the next five years and is examining potential sites in Hawick, Orkney, Stirling and Thurso. Openings in the coming months are said to be planned for East Kilbride, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Livingston.
And that heading in The Scotsman: ‘Wetherspoon Proves There's Fire Without Smoke in Pubs’.