Wetherspoons was founded in 1979 by Tim Martin. The chain is named after a teacher, who said that Tim would ‘never make it as a businessman’. Clearly he was wrong. The first pub was Marler’s Bar, Colney Hatch Lane, London.
In the 1990s, they started selling off less profitable or smaller pubs, quite often replacing them with larger premises in the local area. None of the earliest Wetherspoons’ are still a part of the estate, and in fact, the oldest survivor is the Rochester Castle in Stoke Newington, which opened in 1983. As of February 2011, the chain operated 833 pubs across the UK. They also have 16 hotels, 11 of which are in England.
Aside from selling alcohol, Wetherspoons also serves meals, including breakfast, and tea/coffee. All outlets open early in the morning, and Wetherspoons have been known to claim that they are the only large pub firm that do this.
Staff within Wetherspoons are employed at 4 levels: Associate, Manager, Bar Manager and in the Head Office.
Salary & Benefits
As an Associate, pay varies between £4.50 and £7.40, variant on age, location and experience/training. There is also the opportunity to earn an additional 19% in bonus, based on sales, profit, and mystery shopper feedback. There are a few different roles at this level, including bar staff, kitchen staff, floor staff and cleaner. Duties include serving alcohol (employees over 18 only), collecting glasses and general housekeeping, taking food orders, and more. Experience in licensed premises is beneficial but not essential as training is given. For a kitchen role, a food hygiene certificate or kitchen experience is beneficial. All current vacancies can be applied for online, or alternatively, you can drop a CV into the branch you would like to work in, if no vacancy appears to be available. Benefits of this job include 28 days’ holiday per annum (pro rata for part time staff), 50% discount on food while on duty, free shares after 18 months employment, 20% discount on dining in pubs and hotel stays, and additional holiday entitlement linked to length of service.
Bar managers get an enhanced benefits package, which includes everything above, except bonus is up to 50%, food eaten while on duty is free and holiday entitlement is increased to 30 days. Salary starts at a minimum £22k per annum for single managers, and a joint salary of £36,500 for a management couple (i.e. who run the pub together). There is also an additional £5-9k live-out allowance depending on location (which will be split equally between a management couple). Management experience of a pub is essential to this role, and a candidate without it may not be considered.
Wetherspoons also offers training for junior staff wishing to become managers. Salary for these roles is competitive, and increases upon completion of each of the three training modules. Head office roles also become available, with an excellent benefits package.
All current vacancies can be view or applied for online via the Wetherspoons website. For more information, visit their career site.