Wetherspoon’s: Pigs served without blankets after labour issue in supply chain

They are cherished staples of a traditional Christmas dinner plate, but some Wetherspoon’s customers looking to enjoy pigs in blankets during the festive season were left disappointed after being served chipolatas without a bacon casing.

The pub chain, whose boss Tim Martin has repeatedly spoken in support of Brexit, said the issue was down to a temporary labour shortage at an unnamed business further up the supply chain, rather than problems with meat travelling into the UK from Europe.

The matter involved a “number of pubs” and has since been resolved, the company said.

Customer Xander Yarney, 21, was among those left disappointed when he ordered a Christmas dinner at The Angel in Basingstoke on December 2.

He told the PA news agency: “I ordered them through the app and when they got delivered to me they didn’t have the bacon on them.

“Matey asked me if I wanted a refund and I said not to worry about it.

“Obviously was a bit disappointed, I mean who wouldn’t be? But I kind of just found it funny more than anything so I gave it no stress, ate them and then went about my day.”

Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “It has all been resolved, it wasn’t across all 900 pubs and it was only for a day or so.

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Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to a London pub in the summer (Henry Nicholls/PA)

“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 British Meat Processors Association previously warned that the UK was not attracting enough EU workers, which it said could have a detrimental impact on the supply of “fiddly” items, such as pigs in blankets.

Last year, Wetherspoon’s was temporarily unable to serve some drinks on draught due to a shortage of CO2, while the absence of steak on its steak night menu was put down to a precautionary product recall due to mislabelling with the supplier.

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