‘Spoons shuns Diageo in Irish venture

JD Wetherspoon will not stock any Diageo-distributed products “for the long- term” in its new pub ventures in Ireland unless it can haggle lower prices from the brewer.

tim-martin-wetherspoon

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin

Tim Martin, Wetherspoon’s chairman, said he wanted the pub chain to stock Diageo-owned and distrubuted products – which includes Guinness, Carlsberg and Smithwicks – but that the company is unwilling to pay the high price charged for stocking draught beer in Ireland.

“I don’t want to put pressure on Diageo, but we simply baulked at paying a higher price for Guinness in Ireland than we do in the UK,” he said.

The price difference between stocking draught beer in Ireland compared with the UK is understood to be up to 20%, according to reports in The Irish Times.

Martin was speaking yesterday at the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock in Dublin, the first of Wetherspoon’s 30 planned pubs to open in the Republic of Ireland.

diageo-products

A range of Diageo products, including famous brands like Guinness, Bushmills and Johnnie Walker

He said, “I’m confident we can move ahead with or without Diageo. We have a good relationship, but if it turns out that we don’t stock Guinness in any of our Irish pubs, then we might do long-term deals for Murphy’s and Beamish instead.”

Commenting, a Diageo spokesperson said, “Wetherspoon is a highly valued partner of Diageo in Britain. As with all our customers, we are constantly exploring ways to make those relationships bigger and better.”

Martin said Wetherspoon’s second Irish pub, in Cork, may open “by Christmas”. It is also planning pubs in Dún Laoghaire and Swords in Dublin.

The Three Tun Tavern, Dublin (photo: JD Wetherspoon)

The Three Tun Tavern, Dublin (photo: JD Wetherspoon)

Martin said he did not know how long it would take the group to get up to 30 pubs, and that it depends on the performance of its initial outlets. He said Wetherspoon’s had looked at buying pubs in Limerick, Galway and “some smaller towns”.

“As long as we feel accepted, we will plough on. We are a big tax collector for the State and we will provide a lot of jobs. The industry will benefit from having us here,” he said.

Martin hit the headlines recently after condemning celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his chain of Italian restaurants, Jamie’s Italian, for forcing up commercial rent prices and hurting the pub industry.

He said, “My advice for Oliver is: Be careful, son. You’re an excellent cook, but do you know about rent reviews or understand the property market?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Support Executive

Davy's
London, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - Greater London

Maverick Drinks
London/M25 belt, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - West & Wales

Maverick Drinks
Bristol, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - South East

Maverick Drinks
Brighton, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sale & Operations Manager

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

Prestige Account Manager – Europe

Jackson Family Wines
London, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more