Pub-goers can expect a forecast of rising pint prices, Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has warned.
People across the UK are facing a cost-of-living crisis. Energy bills are higher than ever, transport is more expensive, and it's been the largest rise in inflation in 30 years.
With all this anxiety, the least we can do is have a nice cold pint to wind down at the end of a tough day. Alas, get ready to pay more for your booze in Wetherspoon.
In an interview with Chronicle Live, Martin said the titanic pub chain - which runs a whopping 800 bars across the UK and Ireland - is expected to break even this year, coming off the back of the strain of the pandemic.
However, punters will be forking out a little extra for their usual pint in months to come.
He said: "As many hospitality companies have indicated, there is considerable pressure on costs, especially in respect of labour, food and energy.
"Repairs are also running at a higher rate than before the pandemic."
Small increases have already been recorded in a number of Wetherspoon pubs, whether it's a rise of 10p to the cost of a pint, or 20p if you're in London.
LADbible recently sat down with Martin to discuss the 'cult of Wetherspoons' and the UK's stark situation.
He said: "There's been massive injections of money into the economy, and normally that creates inflation, and it has done this time.
"Whether that creates a recession is a bit more difficult to predict. The last couple of years have felt like a recession, whether there'll be one in the whole economy, I don't know."
Wetherspoon is synonymous with affordable drinks. It's a stomping ground for many people, whether you're lining your stomach with a burger and a pint or taking advantage of the cheap pitchers.
As Martin said, 'pubs are vital for social life', but they're struggling to survive amid the current climate.
He continued: "I think that the pub is definitely threatened. Pubs pay 20 percent VAT on food sales, but supermarkets pay nothing.
"That [tax system] has widened the gap in prices between pubs and supermarkets, so I think that is quite a threat.
"If pubs don't sell beer in decent quantities and people don't feel they can go out to a pub for a beer, that's quite difficult to overcome. We can deal with Tesco if we have the same taxes, but it's a government issue.
"We realise that the government needs money and will lose some income through that, but we think it can have a sensible rebalancing of the tax system."
Martin said pubs are 'very important for social lives around the country. For a lot of people, it's their only trip out'.
"People always used to socialise around churches - and they still go to church - but for many people [pubs] are the main opportunity for socialising."
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Topics: UK News