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Thread: Why are Wetherspoons Pubs like Marmite??

  1. #1
    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Default Why are Wetherspoons Pubs like Marmite??

    You love them or you hate them!

    I suspect that many of the grossly negative reviews on a rubbish inferior pub site are from rival landlords that have seen their cushy overpriced business ruined.

    I'm a fan but I am fully aware of the well documented problems of inadequate staffing levels, "Available Soon" beers etc etc. The key is a good manager and decent Duty Managers, something that seems to change all the time.

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    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    You love them or you hate them!

    I suspect that many of the grossly negative reviews on a rubbish inferior pub site are from rival landlords that have seen their cushy overpriced business ruined.

    I'm a fan but I am fully aware of the well documented problems of inadequate staffing levels, "Available Soon" beers etc etc. The key is a good manager and decent Duty Managers, something that seems to change all the time.
    I'm not a fan, I agree the reasons above are the main problem i.e ever changing management and staff plus lack of consistency in the beer,likely linked to the former statement,also there is the certain level of custom certain outlets attract.
    I'm not saying their all bad, for example I found the Gatehouse in Highgate to be a decent pub, but as a job lot I,d give them a body swerve and head for a non chain trad pub.I know not everybody will agree but that's the Marmite factor.One other thing now you've started me off, how do so many get in the GBG, mutual back scratching I reckon .
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

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    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    In My experience 'spoons are rarely stinkers and rarely outstanding. Some of course are better than others - this can be due to management (as already stated), the building (some of them are in fantastic old banks / theatres etc) and location ( a rough area will lead to a certain clientele which drags it down).

    If I am in a strange town, with no access to information on which non chain pubs are in the GBG, or had good reviews on sites such as this and the other place (which still can provide useful info if you bypass the obviously persecutive posts) then a Wetherspoons (or Lloyds whatever) is always a safe bet. You know there will be Real Ale that is drinkable, and food that is edible and it won't break the bank. So even if its not as good as others, the house has not been re-mortgaged to pay for it.

    Plus (whisper this quietly) in the daytime they are kid friendly (usually). I get a pint, Mrs Brew gets a cup of tea and the kids are fed and watered. I don't like to take the kids into "normal pubs" unless I know that they are welcome. 'Spoons are fair game in my opinion.

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    I'll stay on me own Alesonly's Avatar
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    I used to like Wetherspoons in the early years in fact the first one Opened just down the hill from my house in Muswell Hill on Colney Hatch Lane in 1979 and I used that one regularly as it was a oasis in a desert of real Ale at the time. But in the last few years they have totally lost the way IMHO and have become the type of chain pub they were first designed to get away from like the Beef Eater or Harvester Flaming Grill Ect. I find its Now like a Grub shop in Most with people just stuffing there guts with cheap food Kids running around uncontrolled TVs blasting out.

    I really think they need to go back to the original Idea and Have something like a (Wetherspoons Original) based on the original concept of Smaller Bars in shop conversions with No TVs No Kids No Grub Just have Good Ales & Craft Ales with just traditional Bar snacks. But I guess I am in the minority as a G.O S.
    Don't You just hate Pubs that say
    ( We don't stock any Real Ales as theres Just no call for it.)

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewguru View Post
    In My experience 'spoons are rarely stinkers and rarely outstanding. Some of course are better than others - this can be due to management (as already stated), the building (some of them are in fantastic old banks / theatres etc) and location ( a rough area will lead to a certain clientele which drags it down).

    If I am in a strange town, with no access to information on which non chain pubs are in the GBG, or had good reviews on sites such as this and the other place (which still can provide useful info if you bypass the obviously persecutive posts) then a Wetherspoons (or Lloyds whatever) is always a safe bet. You know there will be Real Ale that is drinkable, and food that is edible and it won't break the bank. So even if its not as good as others, the house has not been re-mortgaged to pay for it.

    Plus (whisper this quietly) in the daytime they are kid friendly (usually). I get a pint, Mrs Brew gets a cup of tea and the kids are fed and watered. I don't like to take the kids into "normal pubs" unless I know that they are welcome. 'Spoons are fair game in my opinion.
    I couldn't disagree with a word of this - well said!

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    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    I agree with the sentiment that JDW is always a safe bet if new in town, but I’ve not yet been in one that I would go well out of the way for. The cheap prices are great, but they do tend to attract a certain local crowd. I also think that the business set up makes it easy for bad managers to coast along without putting in much effort. The staff often gets berated for being inept on various review sites, but surely this is the fault of the management for not giving proper training or a structured work environment.
    WE ARE THE BREADMEN - UP THE BEES

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    Humble Wordsmith ETA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    how do so many get in the GBG...
    ...especially with the high turnover of management, which means it is impossible to maintain a consistent eye on the cellar management?

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    Fully paid up beer belly Farway's Avatar
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    As post header, bit Marmitey, so I mostly avoid even in a new area. But have to agree with Brewguru, in daytime, great for grandchildren, cups of coffee and cheap grub, I know this may upset some, but IMO pubs are not all about real ale, CAMRA, Sky sports, dart teams etc

    Marmite is a good description of JDW, my local one has in fact increased the trade in the adjacent Fuller's pub, perhaps beacuse JDW is full during the day, or who knows?
    I drink to make others more interesting

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    By the way, I hate Marmite.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    I'm not a fan, I agree the reasons above are the main problem i.e ever changing management and staff plus lack of consistency in the beer,likely linked to the former statement,also there is the certain level of custom certain outlets attract.
    I'm not saying their all bad, for example I found the Gatehouse in Highgate to be a decent pub, but as a job lot I,d give them a body swerve and head for a non chain trad pub.I know not everybody will agree but that's the Marmite factor.One other thing now you've started me off, how do so many get in the GBG, mutual back scratching I reckon .
    I reckon the beer is more consistent in Spoons than other pubs, a lot of pubs don't even sell real ale at all and so I think they should be included in the equation. Over the last few years I have only had poor pints in three Spoons and I'm happy to name and shame. The Toll Gate in London N8, the Gilpin's Bell in London N9 and the Admiral Byng in Potters Bar.

    The Gatehouse is a decent place, but also one of the most expensive outside of Central London and certainly benefits from being an original pub rather than a dark and dingy shop conversion. Interestingly it is in an area with other worthwhile (albeit expensive) pubs.

    As for the GBG, I really doubt if there is any back scratching going on, sometimes I wonder if some pubs just get "left in" as nobody has really bothered to check the area out. All posters on this site should be aware that there is in the back of all recent GBGs a Feedback form. Use them!! I will soon be receiving my 40th edition of the GBG (yes I've got the lot!!) and as always look forward to trawling through it. The other reason why so many are in the guide is the areas they are in. The Romford area has four listed Spoons out of five pubs. The one in Rainham which I haven't been to sounds like a decent place run by a good "old school" guv'nor. If any one knows of any pubs in the area even worth thinking about going in then I would be interested to hear about them!

    As for a Spoons versus a traditional boozer, if I could afford to go on a Jolly to Wolverhampton would I take the short walk over to the Spoons or dive down the convoluted alleyway to the Great Western? It would be the Great Western every time!

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