Wetherspoon launches price war with free refill coffee for 99p

The pub chain's founder says yearly coffee savings could buy drinkers "a holiday in St. Lucia"

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The Independent Online

Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoon, today launched a coffee and breakfast price war on the High Street.

From next Wednesday he is slashing the price of Lavazza coffee with free refills in 880 pubs to 99p or less in a bid to treble sales.

“If you switched from a leading high street chain where two cappuccinos a day would cost you a fiver to Wetherspoon where two coffees will cost you less than a pound you would save a enough money in a  year for a holiday in St Lucia,” claimed Martin.

Greggs on a roll, or should that be a coffee and a sandwich?

Wetherspoon currently sells 50 million coffees and serves 24 million breakfasts a year. Martin wants those sales to treble within 18 months. He admits doing that profitably will depend on pushing sales up quickly. “But we can make an honest buck,” he said.

“There is a huge market for coffee and breakfast,” said Martin. We have large premises with better facilities than any coffee shop chain and we’re by no means full first thing in the morning.”


Wetherspoon's first half profit dropped 1% to £37.5 million despeite sales rising 9% to £744 million which Martin blamed on higher staff costs. He also warned that it would be tough to improve on last year’s stong second half of the year.