Wetherspoon%20frontage.jpgOh dear. Judging by the radio phone-ins I caught on the way into work this morning, pub chain JD Wetherspoon seems to have shot itself in the foot over its decision to prohibit adults accompanied by children in its pubs from having more than two alcoholic drinks.
A Wetherspoon spokesman said the move is intended to limit the length of time adults with children stay on the group’s premises after they have eaten, and so avoid having bored kids running around and making a nuisance of themselves. He admitted that parents might even be refused soft drinks or coffee to shorten their stay.
It strikes me that the chain is taking an overly moralising stance. Wetherspoon pubs are happy enough to take money off dining families – as previosuly reported on Caterersearch, they have taken steps to woo families wishing to eat out of home – but once the last mouthful of cheesecake has been eaten, they make it painfully clear that it’s time to go. If kids are misbehaving, staff should speak to parents, but this should be the case regardless of how many pints have been sunk, or fish fingers munched. You can’t help thinking JD Wetherspoon have a problem with kids in pubs – but can’t resist charging them for cheesy pasta and peas before showing them the door.
The policy is clearly unworkable. Apart from anything else, bar staff are going to have some very difficult conversations to negotiate, as they attempt to refuse grown men and women a glass of coke, never mind a beer or a glass of wine, in a public house. And what happens if a swift-drinking father brings in his slow-eating children for a spot of lunch? According to the group’s spokesman, he’ll be refused any form of drink – alcoholic or not – after he has downed his first two pints. What right does a public house have to stipulate that he can’t even sip a coffee while his children polish off their meals?
What do you think about the pub chain’s decision? let us know.