Etherspoons pubs are slashing prices on all food and drink for one day this week to highlight the tax burden on the hospitality sector.
The chain will cut prices by 7.5% in pubs across the UK and Ireland on Thursday.
This means, for example, a customer who spends £10 on food and drink will only pay £9.25 for a day.
The move comes to mark Tax Equality Day by highlighting the benefits a permanent VAT cut would have for pubs and restaurants across the UK.
In Scotland, prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks will be reduced in line with Scottish licensing laws.
The biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the huge inequality in the tax treatment of pubs, restaurants and supermarkets
Wetherspoons said it wanted to expose the “huge differences” in how pubs and restaurants are taxed compared to supermarkets.
The group’s founder and chairman, Tim Martin, said: “The biggest threat to the hospitality sector is the huge inequality in the tax treatment of pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.”
“Supermarkets pay no VAT on food sales, while pubs and restaurants pay 20%.
“This tax benefit allows supermarkets to subsidize the retail price of beer.
“Pubs have been under enormous pressure for decades because of the tax disadvantages they have compared to supermarkets.”
That means the hospitality industry is subsidizing supermarkets because of tax rules, Mr Martin argued.
“We are calling on the Chancellor to bring tax equality between pubs and supermarkets,” he added.
Mr Martin has previously been vocal on the issue, arguing that lower beer prices in supermarkets have deterred some consumers from grabbing a pint in their local pub.
He also accused some senior politicians of a “lack of understanding” about inflation and the way higher costs are putting pressure on the sector.
As of July, Wetherspoon operates 827 pubs in the UK and Ireland. The company is set to report record sales at its pubs for the latest financial year thanks to record business over the Easter and May holidays.
https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/wetherspoons-dropping-food-and-drink-prices-for-one-day-only-b1104632.html Wetherspoons is slashing food and drink prices for one day only