Food and drink served
We aim to improve the quality of our food offering continually and to provide customers with information about our product range to help them to make informed decisions about their food consumption.
Nutritional information, including Calories, is available from our website and in all pubs. The Calorie-count of each dish is included on the menus. A range of meals is available and highlighted containing 500 Calories or fewer, along with those containing less than 5% fat.
Information on the 14 common allergens is available on our website and in the pubs. Specific menus for vegetarians and for those avoiding gluten or dairy are available.
We have fully supported the Public Health Responsibility Deal from its introduction in 2011.
We have signed up to the following pledges in the food section of the Responsibility Deal:
• Calorie reduction
• Salt catering: reformulation of products as purchased by the customer
• Salt reduction
Since 2010, we have reduced the overall salt content in our meals by about 20%. Initial focus was on dishes with the highest salt level and children’s meals; however, now, it includes all meals. The salt content of all meals is included in the nutritional information (g of salt per meal or portion). For children’s meals, this information is also included in the children’s menu.
We do not use any hydrogenated vegetable fats or trans-fats in our foods. The cooking oil we use is virtually trans-fat free.
We do not use genetically modified ingredients in our foods.
Responsible product sourcing and product quality
We have a fully traceable supply chain, and all of the company’s food suppliers have a globally recognised food-production standard, for example accreditation by the British Retail Consortium.
There are strict specifications for all products, so that high standards of quality and food safety are met, including:
• Detailed product specifications
• Complete product traceability
• Regular DNA testing on all processed meat products, steaks and fish
We seek to promote long-term relationships with suppliers. Where possible, we use British products and support British farming. For example, our chips are made using 100% British potatoes; our beef burgers are made with 100% British beef; our sausages are made with 100% British pork; all of our beef steaks come from Britain and Ireland.
Where practicable, we work with suppliers, contractors and partners to minimise the environmental impact and encourage sustainable sourcing.
We support brewers of all sizes, across the UK and Ireland, so that our customers can enjoy a diverse range of real ales. We support over 400 UK brewers, delivering over 5,000 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, including ones which are locally sourced.
We seek to carry out our business honestly and with respect for the rights and interests of those involved. We endeavour to ensure that relations with customers, suppliers and business partners are fair and mutually beneficial.
Employees are not permitted to accept bribes or enticements of any kind, including gifts or hospitality.
In sourcing products from many different countries, we aim to uphold the International Labour Organisation’s agreed standards of labour (including a ban on child labour and forced labour). We expect our suppliers to treat their employees fairly, honestly and with respect for their human rights.
We have a farm animal welfare policy which sets out our policies on animals’ close confinement, genetic engineering or cloning, growth-promoting substances, use of antibiotics, use of routine mutilations, preslaughter stunning and long-distance live transportation. Suppliers are selected and then audited to monitor their compliance with our farm animal welfare policy.
We only use free-range eggs.
We have worked with the Rainforest Alliance since 2008, and 100% of the tea and Lavazza coffee served comes from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms. In 2010, we were awarded the Sustainable Standard-Setter Award, by the Rainforest Alliance, for ongoing dedication, innovation and leadership in environmental conservation.
We support practices which promote sensible drinking and have established a ‘code of conduct for responsible retailing’, outlining our approach in this area.
We have signed up to the following pledges in the alcohol section of the Public Health Responsibility Deal:
• Awareness of alcohol units in the on-trade
• Tackling underage alcohol sales
• Support for drinkaware
• Responsible advertising and marketing of alcohol
• Support for community actions to tackle alcohol harm
In October 2014, we were the first major on-trade alcohol retailer to include the alcohol unit content of all drinks on our menu.
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.
We support and work with several cross-industry organisations, including the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), People First and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). A company representative sits on the National Pubwatch committee; we also financially support 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 safety – and health and safety
The company seeks to promote high standards of food safety and health and safety throughout the business.
At the end of August 2015, 94% of pubs had achieved the maximum five stars for the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme system, run by local authorities. An additional 5% achieved a rating of four stars. All pubs in Scotland assessed under the Scottish pass/fail scheme achieved a pass.
We have signed a Primary Authority Partnership (under the Better Regulation Delivery Office scheme) for health and safety, food safety and trading standards, with Reading Borough Council. In 2013, we were awarded the Better Regulation Delivery Office Best Partnership award.
Monitoring our high standards
Every pub receives at least five quality-assurance visits each month from a combination of its area manager, the audit department, an external ‘mystery shopper’ company and other head-office managers. The scores from these visits are combined and form part of the bonus scheme for all pub-based employees.
There are 937 pubs (99%) accredited by Cask Marque for the quality and consistency of the real ale which they serve.
There are 317 Wetherspoon pubs listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2015 (2014: 283) – a larger proportion, we believe, than any other substantial pub company.
The average rating of a Wetherspoon pub on TripAdvisor is 3.6 (out of 5.0) and a Wetherspoon hotel is 4.2, both of which are higher than the national average. In 2015, 71 pubs and hotels have been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence – more than double the number awarded the previous year.
• The Best Town and City Menu Award 2015 (Menu Innovation and Development Awards) – overall winner 2015
• Children’s ‘Out to Lunch’ Awards 2013 (sponsored by the Soil Association), 2nd place (out of 21 restaurant and pub companies)
• Lincolnshire pork sausage – gold award from the British Pig Executive (BPEX) 2014
• Steak & kidney pudding – silver award at the British Pie Awards 2015
• Beef & Abbot Ale pie – bronze award at the British Pie Awards 2014
• Haggis – Great Taste Award 2014
• British beef & pancetta lasagne – gold award (best new main course category) 2014 BFFF Awards