Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has apologised to customers after its beer supplies became the latest casualty of the UK’s supply chain crunch.
The hospitality giant confirmed that it has seen supplies of Carling and Coors beer hit by the disruption, with some pubs not receiving deliveries.
Molson Coors, the brewer for both brands, said it has been “hit by the HGV driver shortage”, affecting its supply to some UK pubs.
Lorry driver and factory staff shortages attributed to Brexit employment rules and the pandemic have impacted supplies at rival firms including McDonald’s, Nando’s and KFC in recent weeks.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are experiencing some supply problems with both Carling and Coors, which means that some pubs do not have the products available.
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused. We know that the brewers are trying to resolve the issue.”
It came as distribution firms sought to increase wages or offer incentives to new drivers amid a significant shortage across the food and drink supply chain.
Bosses at the Road Haulage Association warned last week that there is a shortfall of around 100,000 drivers.
It said this has been driven by thousands of European drivers leaving during the pandemic and not returning, and called on the Government to add drivers to the Shortage Occupation List to make it easier for overseas workers to address the shortfall.
Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin has been a passionate supporter of Brexit and earlier this year denied reports that his pubs were impacted by Brexit-related staff shortages.
Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary called for a “proper plan” to address the shortage.
He said: “Government ministers can pretend that there aren’t real issues in our supply chain, but it won’t wash. They need a proper plan which addresses the problems, particularly in the HGV sector. Burying their heads in the sand has gone on long enough. It’s time they got a grip.
“This disruption was foreseeable, and it won’t disappear without action. Rather than blaming business, Government should work with them to address the gaps sector by sector. It’s what any responsible Government would do and it is essential to protect the recovery.”
Live pictures of Brexiter Tim Martin as his Wetherspoon chain takes a £40m hit because of Brexit. pic.twitter.com/7vF9gkrAfk— David Schneider (@davidschneider) January 23, 2019
I really hope Tim Martin never runs into Tim Martin. He’s gonna be so angry! pic.twitter.com/DXyW3lyrS8— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) June 1, 2021
Tim Martin, the boss of Wetherspoons was one of the architects of #Brexit its now backfired on him, he’s suffering what he said would never happen, namely beer/staff shortages, I’ve got no sympathy for this xenophobic dinosaur, you reap what you sow #BrexitReality— Loz Argyle ⚓ (@ArgyleLoz) September 1, 2021
Here’s a lament for Tim Martin, whose Wethrespoons chain is struggling with the realities of the Brexit for which he campaigned so loudly. https://t.co/dNnrcwqwr2— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) September 1, 2021
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of my actions.” – Tim Martin, September 2021. pic.twitter.com/7uUNaZXv9p— Drew Millward (@DrewMillward) September 1, 2021
I think its great Tim Martin is theming his business. Zero beers to go with the zero hours contracts for staff and his zero intelligence or foresight. https://t.co/aFsE1bEhA9— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) September 1, 2021
<sad_trombone.wav>https://t.co/FiWhyBFlKL— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) September 1, 2021
The sight of Tim Martin’s business repeatedly punching Tim Martin in the face is something to behold. This could only be funnier if he’d burned every single property to the ground.— Mike Chamberlain ? (@mikechamberlain) September 1, 2021
Twitter’s general reaction to Tim Martin not being able to get any staff or beer for his pubs… https://t.co/SGJUpRNqW3— Followed by 100k Anti-Tories (@MarieAnnUK) September 1, 2021
To all those who say there is no upside to Brexit, I give you Tim Martin running out of beer.— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) September 1, 2021
BREAKING : Dido Harding to help Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin track and trace beer supplies— LCD Views (@LcdViews) September 1, 2021
Tim Martin at the Wetherspoons Brexit beer shortage meeting pic.twitter.com/q7FsnFp7xJ— Ed Cumming (@edcumming) September 1, 2021
#TimMartin who advocated for Brexit, whose pub chain printed 200,000 beer mats bearing a message arguing for Britain to leave the EU..— Pearl Noir (@noir_pearl) September 1, 2021
Now facing staff & supply shortages
So how’s #Brexit working out for you so far Tim? #wetherspoons pic.twitter.com/7DSvuPgYMl
Whetherpoons new “Brexit menu” is the Karma Tim Martin deserves. https://t.co/6TdNJntBb2— ? JustStayin (@JStayin) September 1, 2021