Outspoken Wetherspoons' boss Tim Martin says that humans are “built to work” and has vowed he will carry on until he’s over 100.
Tim, who is reportedly worth £488million, says he has no intention of retiring.
He’s been chairman of Wetherspoons since 1983, but despite massive earnings he refuses to slow down. In 2018, after emergency treatment for a burst appendix, the arch-Brexiteer said he would be “working part time from home for several weeks”.
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Asked at the time if he would ever quit, Tim insisted: “I think we’re built to work. I’ll probably keep going. (In December) I’ll have been doing it for 40 years, I’d like to do it another 40. That would make me 104."
“It might be optimistic," he added, "but that’s my plan. Why not?”
Tim, now 67, did concede that he’d prefer to do a “little less” travelling than he does but said he still “likes to get round the pubs”.
He had told the Daily Telegraph in 2019 that he dreamed of honing the ‘Spoons business to such a degree of efficiency that it could carry on without him. “My ambition has been to set up Wetherspoon on the public markets so it that it can be run in the same way in the future,” adding “not (necessarily) by me or my family.”
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But this week he warned that the pub industry would “inevitably shrink” because of the lower taxes paid by supermarkets.
As Wetherspoons announced the permanent closure of its 11 pubs, with 35 still for sale, Tim complained that people often now prefer to drink in their homes rather than in pubs.
He said that while supermarkets paid a zero VAT rate on food sales, while pubs and restaurants paid 20%, supermarket owners could afford to subsidise the price of booze – driving more and more pubs out of business.
He told The Times: “We estimate that supermarkets have taken about half of the pub industry’s beer volumes since Wetherspoon started trading in 1979, a process that has likely accelerated following the pandemic.”
He warned: “Unless the industry campaigns strongly for equality, it will inevitably shrink relative to supermarkets, which will not help high streets, tourism, the economy overall or the ancient institution of the pub.”
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