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Wetherspoon's hit by pigs-in-blankets shortage in run-up to Christmas

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
A Wetherspoon’s spokesman said suppliers 'didn’t have enough labour to put the blankets on the pigs.' Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images

Wetherspoon’s was hit by a shortage of pigs-in-blankets at some of its pubs in the run-up to Christmas, leaving some customers disappointed as the pub chain blamed suppliers for problems.

Several customers said they were served festive dishes without the bacon wrapped around their mini-sausages.

A Wetherspoon’s (JDW.L) spokesman said suppliers “didn’t have enough labour to put the blankets on the pigs,” but the issue had been resolved.

He added that it was “not for us to say” when asked if Brexit was behind the problems. The British Meat Processors Association has previously warned of shortages from a lack of EU workers, with Brexit and the lower pound since the EU referendum partly blamed for deterring migrants.

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Wetherspoon’s founder Tim Martin has been one of the most outspoken Leave supporters in the business world, and has brushed off warnings of economic risks linked to a hard Brexit.

A spokesman also said the issue was “only for a day or so,” and did not affect every pub.

But problems appear to have either lasted for longer or affected different pubs at different times.

Notice in a Wetherspoon pub in central London. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

One customer in Basingstoke told PA they were served a bacon-free dish on 2 December, leaving them “a bit disappointed” but amused.

More than a week later, Yahoo Finance UK then saw a sign by the company at the bar in a central London pub on 10 December apologising for the inconvenience.

It read: “Owing to a supplier issue, our pigs-in-blankets will be without their blankets, temporarily, on the following dishes.”

It then reeled off several dishes include festive burgers and a traditional turkey and roast vegetable Christmas dinner, as well as pigs-in-blankets as a standalone dish. But bar staff said the issue had been resolved.

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A JD Wetherspoon spokesman told PA: “It has all been resolved, it wasn’t across all 900 pubs and it was only for a day or so.

“There is no shortage of meat. The suppliers in the UK had the bacon and the sausages but didn’t have enough labour to put the blankets on the pigs.

“It was nothing to do with supply, it was to do with labour. There was a stop in some supplies, they got the sausages in without the blankets.”

The spokesman told Yahoo Finance UK all pubs “now have full supplies.”