Responsible drinks retailing
The company supports practices which promote sensible drinking and has established a ‘code of conduct for responsible retailing’, outlining its approach in this area.
We also seek to develop partnerships with local authorities and the police. All pubs are requested to become a member of the local pubwatch scheme (which promotes a safe and responsible drinking environment). In several locations, a company pub manager chairs the scheme and, where there is no pubwatch, we work with the local police and council to try to establish one. A company representative sits on the National Pubwatch committee – and the business financially supports the Drinkaware Trust.
We encourage our pubs to enter the ‘Best Bar None’ schemes (run by local authorities and the police, to encourage good behaviour in town centres), promoting a safe and secure environment.
Food information and quality
The company aims to improve the quality of its food offering continually and to provide customers with information about our product range, to help them to make informed decisions about their food consumption. This includes nutritional information, from our website and a printed leaflet, available in pubs.
Calorie information for the dishes on our menus is available on the menus themselves.
The company was winner of ‘The Nation’s Favourite Pub 2013’, voted for by pub and restaurant customers, sponsored by Eat Out magazine’s awards, while the children’s menu was rated third out of 21 restaurant and pub companies in a league table by ‘Out To Lunch’, sponsored by the Soil Association.
The company tries to ensure strict specifications for all of its products, so that high standards of quality are met. For example, the sausages which the company sources from the Welsh Sausage Company contain only British pork, with no artificial colours or flavours; the company uses only dolphin-friendly tuna; the haddock, cod and salmon in our dishes are sourced from recognised, sustainable fisheries; all fishcakes are made with oak-smoked, line-caught, sustainable haddock; we use only British Lion Quality free-range eggs and cook with virtually trans-fat-free oil.
Our beef & Abbot Ale pie was overall winner of England’s Best Steak Pie 2011, sponsored by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX); our Lincolnshire pork sausage won the gold award from the British Pig Executive (BPEX) in 2012; our Bramley apple, pear & raspberry crumble received Best Bramley Apple Foodservice product 2012, in the ‘Brammy’ Awards.
All of the company’s food suppliers are accredited by the British Retail Consortium.
Working with suppliers
The company usually seeks to promote long-term relationships with its suppliers and supports UK farming, using British chips and hash browns and British beef in its beef burgers, lasagne, chilli con carne, steak & kidney pudding and beef & Abbot Ale pie. All of our steaks, sourced from Britain and Ireland, are matured for 35 days.
Where practicable, the company works with suppliers, contractors and partners to minimise the environmental impact and encourage sustainable sourcing.
The company supports brewers of all sizes, across the UK and Ireland, so that customers can enjoy a diverse range of real ales. Wetherspoon is supporting over 400 UK microbrewers, delivering 5,100 ales through real-ale festivals, exhibitions, meet-the-brewer events and the promotion and stocking of their beers. Every pub endeavours to have at least four ales available at all times, of which two are locally sourced. There are 283 Wetherspoon pubs listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2014 (2013: 256) – a larger proportion, we believe, than any other substantial pub company.
There are 875 pubs (99%) accredited by Cask Marque for the quality and consistency of the real ale which they serve.
The company seeks to carry out its business honestly and with respect for the rights and interests of those involved. The company endeavours to ensure that relations with customers, suppliers and business partners are fair and mutually beneficial.
The company operates a traceability and DNA testing programme. In addition, the company is able to track several main products and ingredients back to the original farm, field or fishing vessel.
Health and safety
The company seeks to promote high standards of safety throughout the business. Pubs are assessed for risks and safety. At the end of July 2013, 87% achieved the maximum five stars for the ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ system, run by local authorities. An additional 12% achieved a rating of four stars.
We have signed a Primary Authority Partnership (under the Better Regulation Delivery Office scheme) for Health & Safety, Food Safety and Trading Standards, with Reading Borough Council. In 2013, we were awarded the Better Regulation Delivery Office Best Partnership award.