A PUB chain has clarified its family policy after a complaint from a Wirral parent hit the national headlines.
Wetherspoons, which runs the Thomas Telford in Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port and The Wheatsheaf in Overpool Road, wants parents who bring children into its bars to limit themselves to no more than two alcoholic drinks. They should also buy a meal, it says.
But the firm, which has just won an award for its children’s menu, says it encourages families and parents not drinking alcohol to stay as long as they like.
The statement was issued after a national newspaper story at the weekend about Wallasey father-of-two Stephen Gandy, who claims he and seven friends were refused alcohol at their local Wetherspoons during a meal because they had taken a child along.
A Wetherspoons spokesman said: “If parents are accompanied by children when they visit our pubs, we have a responsibility to ensure this is handled in a professional manner and in keeping with our duty of care to our customers.”
Outlining the guidelines, he explained: “Adults accompanied with children wishing to purchase an alcoholic drink should also purchase a meal.
“Once the meal has been finished and tables cleared, it is our recommendation that only one more alcoholic drink should be purchased for each adult.
“If parents and their children are visiting our pubs and purchasing non-alcoholic drinks, then there is no limit to the number of drinks that can be purchased or the length of stay at the pub.
“In all situations it is important our pub managers assess the behaviour and attitude of the parents as well as the interests of other customers to ensure the situation is handled suitably.
“As a company we do not want to restrict families visiting our pubs. In fact, we actively encourage families and have recently won an award for our children’s menu.”
Wetherspoons urges parents with any questions about the policy to call their customer service department on 01923 477777 or fill in the customer feedback form on their website www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk