Pub chain JD Wetherspoon says it does not intend to pay its suppliers until its pubs reopen.
An email signed by chairman Tim Martin set out the company’s position, saying:
“We are asking for a moratorium on payments, until the pubs reopen, at which point we intend to clear outstanding payments, within a short timeframe.
“We understand that this puts significant pressure on our suppliers, but we are kindly asking for your assistance during this very difficult period.
“A number of our suppliers have already offered assistance and we would be most grateful for your cooperation as well.”
Suppliers likely to “go down” if payments are withheld
The move will heap pressure on suppliers to the foodservice sector who have already been hit by the shutdown of pubs, restaurants and hotels.
One senior industry source told Foot Print suppliers were likely to “go down” if payments for goods already provided are withheld for weeks or even months.
It comes after the firm faced criticism over the treatment of its staff as the coronavirus crisis deepens.
Mr Martin sent a video to all staff on Monday evening, telling them he will pay employees until the pubs last opened, but there will be no further payments until the Government fulfils its promise to cover 80 per cent of the wages of workers affected.
He also advised them to seek employment at Tesco, which is looking to bolster its staff numbers by 20,000 people.