Wetherspoons

cactustwirly

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What is it about Wetherspoons that people actually like?

Ok it's 'cheap', but that's the only thing going for it.
The Pub interiors are dull and depressing, and the food is just microwaved crap!

Actually I've found that other pubs aren't that much more expensive, and they have a much better atmosphere!
 
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gordonthemoron

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They're handy in Railway stations as they serve beer really early, at least in London and Leeds. I think you need to buy breakfast to be served alcohol in Newcastle (not the case in London and Leeds)
 

The_Train

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The Pub interiors are dull and depressing, and the food is just microwaved crap!
Well my local Wetherspoons certainly doesn't fall into this category. It is an old cinema and is glorious inside, with lots of the old features being retained. As for the food, I've never had a meal that I've thought was 'crap' but that might just boil down to personal tastes and preferences
 

Puffing Devil

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Horses for courses: Brewdog Punk IPA on draught at a good price. I don't eat the microwaved food, the fried crap is OK fried crap.

Table service via the app and plenty of seating make it a winner in the right circumstances.

That said - can't stand the way Tim Martin has pushed the Brexit agenda through his pubs. If Brexit does actually happen and Freedom of Movement goes, I'll look forward to him taking a big hit as wages rise to entice UK workers onto his pub floors and kitchens.
 

sprinterguy

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I can think of a few reasons just off the top of my head:

They're open all day.
They serve alcohol from early in the day.
They do a roaring trade in breakfasts and unlimited coffee up to midday.
They provide a wide ranging food menu with clearly advertised calorie and allergen information.
They provide a fairly homogenised food and drinks offer that means that you pretty much know what you're getting no matter what town you're in.
They undertake tasteful and sympathetic refurbishments of historic buildings that would otherwise probably remain derelict.
There's a wider range of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) than you're likely to find in many licensed premises.
Their pubs are accommodating, unchallenging and inoffensive to a wide range of clientele.
Food and drinks prices are generally cheap and they offer a range of deals.
They have a strong, easily recognisable brand.
 

Aictos

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I've worked in two locations and I can't say I agree with the OP about them being dull and depressing.

Indeed one actually had a library of books for people to read while there.

For a lunch time drink or holding events, you can't beat a Spoons not at their inexpensive prices.
 

YorkshireBear

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You know what you get and you pay for it. Reliable for ale and often local ones too when away from home.

Admittedly some in rough areas can be a bit scary but that is not the fault of Wetherspoons. As i said on EU thread my literal only complaint is the constant Brexit talk in their pubs.
 
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sprinterguy

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You know what you get and you pay for it. Reliable for ale and often local ones too when away from home.

Admittedly some in rought areas can be a bit scary but that is not the fault of Wetherspoons. As i said on EU thread my literal only complaint is the constant Brexit talk in their pubs.
Hear hear, concisely put!
 

Harpers Tate

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I would not contest that the food is factory pre-prepared and largely just finished in-house. But in that respect (only) it is no different at all to just about any other chain-series outlet - Hungry Horse, Sizzling, Two-For-One, and so on and so on.

What (IMO) sets this chain apart is value. Their food, within the context of what it is, is generally actually better than just about all the equivalents. There are a few pointers that I use when judging food quality that are easily identifiable. For example - BeechDean Ice Cream (which is rich and creamy, as opposed to generic gritty watery cheapness) is used. All their eggs are free-range. Their sausages (breakfast or with Mash) are clearly more meat than breadcrumbs, unlike so many. They chargrill their (100% beef) burgers. Pizzas are made up in house and freshly cooked. And so on and so on.

And all of this with a price point that is typically a fair way below anyone else.
 

Iskra

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My local spoons is fantastic and everything a pub should be (apart from the lack of any Timothy Taylors). Many are in grand old buildings. They have an unsurpassed choice of drinks, significantly cheaper than elsewhere. Doombar was 2 pound a pint the last time I was in. Their breakfast offer is good and decent value. They will bring my beer to my table. They are everywhere. They have WiFi. They stay open later than many other pubs. In an age where there are many poor quality pubs or many expensive ones, I always know I can get a product I will be happy with at a good price.

Even the rough ones usually have a certain comedy value to them due to the characters they attract, I quite enjoy a dodgy pub sometimes.
 

Bletchleyite

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Admittedly some in rough areas can be a bit scary but that is not the fault of Wetherspoons. As i said on EU thread my literal only complaint is the constant Brexit talk in their pubs.
I agree on this. I would equally object to Remain campaigning on this basis; it's exploiting impressionable people by only giving half the facts (if that).
 

DarloRich

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What is it about Wetherspoons that people actually like?

Ok it's 'cheap', but that's the only thing going for it.
The Pub interiors are dull and depressing, and the food is just microwaved crap!

Actually I've found that other pubs aren't that much more expensive, and they have a much better atmosphere!
The beer and food are cheapish and they serve the food quickly. They sell a selection of ale which is usually kept well. The food is fairly decent quality for a decent price. it isnt fantastic quality but a burger and a pint for £6/7 is decent. You know what you are getting.

However they have gone a bit brexit barmy and I have started to use them only as a last resort recently.

Admittedly some in rough areas can be a bit scary but that is not the fault of Wetherspoons.
WOW - You have had a sheltered upbringing if you think spoonies is scary!
 

Bletchleyite

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The beer and food are cheapish and they serve the food quickly. They sell a selection of ale which is usually kept well. The food is fairly decent quality for a decent price. it isnt fantastic quality but a burger and a pint for £6/7 is decent. You know what you are getting.
Indeed. If you think of it as Maccy D's but on a proper plate, with better variety and with a pint, you can't go too far wrong with it.
 

DarloRich

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Indeed. If you think of it as Maccy D's but on a proper plate, with better variety and with a pint, you can't go too far wrong with it.
and free brexit propaganda ;)

Brewdog Punk IPA on draught at a good price
get some proper ale down you man

I can think of a few reasons just off the top of my head:

They're open all day.
They serve alcohol from early in the day.
They do a roaring trade in breakfasts and unlimited coffee up to midday.
They provide a wide ranging food menu with clearly advertised calorie and allergen information.
They provide a fairly homogenised food and drinks offer that means that you pretty much know what you're getting no matter what town you're in.
They undertake tasteful and sympathetic refurbishments of historic buildings that would otherwise probably remain derelict.
There's a wider range of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) than you're likely to find in many licensed premises.
Their pubs are accommodating, unchallenging and inoffensive to a wide range of clientele.
Food and drinks prices are generally cheap and they offer a range of deals.
They have a strong, easily recognisable brand.
Agreed. However they do kill of proper pubs who cant compete on price.
 

Iskra

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WOW - You have had a sheltered upbringing if you think spoonies is scary!
I previously referred to my local spoons as nice. Still, someone got stabbed in there on NYE.

There are certainly some Wetherspoons that attract an interesting crowd. When you add alcohol into the mix, anything can happen. Personally, I've never felt scared in a Spoons, but some definitely feel more edgy than others. If you aren't used to drinking in dodgy establishments, I can understand that it could feel intimidating.
 

cactustwirly

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The beer and food are cheapish and they serve the food quickly. They sell a selection of ale which is usually kept well. The food is fairly decent quality for a decent price. it isnt fantastic quality but a burger and a pint for £6/7 is decent. You know what you are getting.

However they have gone a bit brexit barmy and I have started to use them only as a last resort recently.



WOW - You have had a sheltered upbringing if you think spoonies is scary!
My local pub does Burger and a drink for £7 which is freshly made, and has a much better atmosphere than a spoons!
 

Iskra

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and free brexit propaganda ;)



get some proper ale down you man



Agreed. However they do kill of proper pubs who cant compete on price.
I disagree. They kill pubs that are crap. The good ones survive and evolve, even if they are more expensive.

It's amazing that I can still walk into pubs that only offer the likes of Carling, Fosters, John Smiths, Guiness and their premium offering is Stella. This will be followed by me immediately walking back out. That wasn't a great business model 15 years ago. Taste evolves, pubs need to too.

There are also still pubs that are frankly dirty too.

There are many reasons why pubs fail, but a lot of them are controllable.
 

Harpers Tate

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It's amazing that I can still walk into pubs that only offer the likes of Carling, Fosters, John Smiths, Guiness and their premium offering is Stella. This will be followed by me immediately walking back out. That wasn't a great business model 15 years ago. Taste evolves, pubs need to too.
Agree. At around £4 a pint. With smelly grubby toilets. And meanwhile all there is on the food menu is Gammon and Chips, Scampi and Chips, Pie and Chips - all for more than 'spoons charge including a beer - or wine - or a spirit and mixer..... Oh and for desert - probably Black Forest Gateau.
 

IanD

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The Pub interiors are dull and depressing
Not so for quite a few I've visited recently eg The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells; The Hamilton Hall, LIverpool Street; Crosse Keys, London; Knights Templar, London; Swan Hotel, Leighton Buzzard; The Coronet Holloway; The Capitol, Forest Hill; Booking Office, Standing Order, Caley Picture House - all in Edinburgh. And loads more have plenty of character.

Admittedly some in rough areas can be a bit scary but that is not the fault of Wetherspoons.
If the local Wetherspoons is "scary" then you can bet your life (literally :) ) that the local back street boozers will be scarier.

My local pub does Burger and a drink for £7 which is freshly made, and has a much better atmosphere than a spoons!
Please share, I'm heading to the midlands shortly and may be able to put it to the test.

I've been in some 'Spoons recently that have the burger and pint for less than £6. Even at the Central London pubs you can get a large breakfast for £6 (and wash it down with a pint at 9am if you want!)
 

Puffing Devil

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get some proper ale down you man
Doombar? I think not. I'm not always taken with the ale offerings in 'spoons. I will go for ones I like. As @Iskra said, I wish they would do Taylor's Landlord.

Other than that, they're a McPub. Mass market and efficient. You know what you're getting when you go in.
 

telstarbox

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I disagree. They kill pubs that are crap. The good ones survive and evolve, even if they are more expensive.

It's amazing that I can still walk into pubs that only offer the likes of Carling, Fosters, John Smiths, Guiness and their premium offering is Stella. This will be followed by me immediately walking back out. That wasn't a great business model 15 years ago. Taste evolves, pubs need to too.

There are also still pubs that are frankly dirty too.

There are many reasons why pubs fail, but a lot of them are controllable.
Amazingly a pub near me (not a Spoons) has just been refurbished and reopened and basically sells the list above. Can't see it surviving for long.
 

cactustwirly

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Amazingly a pub near me (not a Spoons) has just been refurbished and reopened and basically sells the list above. Can't see it surviving for long.
Haha, the type of pubs I frequent (or are they bars?) have more lager than Ale, but it's good Lager like Estrella, Budweiser, Heineken, Kozel, San Miguel etc
 

cactustwirly

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Not so for quite a few I've visited recently eg The Opera House, Tunbridge Wells; The Hamilton Hall, LIverpool Street; Crosse Keys, London; Knights Templar, London; Swan Hotel, Leighton Buzzard; The Coronet Holloway; The Capitol, Forest Hill; Booking Office, Standing Order, Caley Picture House - all in Edinburgh. And loads more have plenty of character.



If the local Wetherspoons is "scary" then you can bet your life (literally :) ) that the local back street boozers will be scarier.



Please share, I'm heading to the midlands shortly and may be able to put it to the test.

I've been in some 'Spoons recently that have the burger and pint for less than £6. Even at the Central London pubs you can get a large breakfast for £6 (and wash it down with a pint at 9am if you want!)
It's a Social Squirrel pub, which is located on a University campus.
 

Mag_seven

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For me a Spoons is always the fall back option for:

1. Breakfast - if there is no decent cafe nearby
2. Lunch/Dinner - if there is no decent restaurant nearby
3. A pint of real ale - if there is no decent real ale pub nearby

I like the fact that there always seems to be plenty of space and that they serve food all day till late. I also prefer the breakfast offering in a Scottish Spoons as opposed to an English outlet in that they do potato scone instead of hash browns (they also used to do Lorne "flat sausage" but they seem to have stopped that).

As for Mr Martin's views on Brexit well......
 

yorksrob

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Indeed. If you think of it as Maccy D's but on a proper plate, with better variety.
That's a Wimpy.

As far as Spoons is concerned, it's a free country and the owner is free to espouse his opinions (within reason) as he wishes.

However, the fact that their baked beans taste like cardboard is unforgivable.
 

fishquinn

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However, the fact that their baked beans taste like cardboard is unforgivable.
Agreed there. I've had many meals in 'spoons (mostly breakfast before they went and removed most things on the menu) and the baked beans there really aren't pleasant. The rest of the meal is usually rather good though and they always seem open to substitutions in their large breakfast.
 

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