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Wed 2nd Oct 2013 - JDW introduces free coffee refills and longer food hours
JD Wetherspoon ups the ante with free coffee refills and longer food hours: JD Wetherspoon will raise the food ante with the launch of a new menu next week (9 October) that will see food served an extra hour until 11pm and free coffee refills until 2pm. The extended food service hours mean the company will be serving food for 15 hours each day, starting with breakfast at 8am, and the purchase of a single cup of coffee will allow limitless refills. Wetherspoon is also launching a new meal club, the Chicken Club, offering char-grilled peri-peri chicken on a Wednesday between 12 noon and 11pm, with new dishes including ten spicy chicken wings and new combos that offer meat or fish options to be added. The company has also expanded the number of dishes for calorie counters, with 18 under 500 calories, including a pasta pomodoro dish and a skinny chicken breast burger. New main course dishes include a chicken and ribs combo, a new salmon salad and a pulled pork sandwich. Wetherspoon added a gourmet hot dog to its menu at the start of the year. At its results in September, chief executive John Hutson told Propel that the menu item was “still finding its feet”. However, the company is adding a new barbeque hot dog, topped with a half portion of pulled pork and grated cheese, and a new Mexican hot dog, served with cheese, salsa, guacamole and chilli peppers, to the menu. Each features a foot-log hot dog served with six onion rings. Wetherspoon’s gourmet foot-long hot dog is smoked over beechwood with onion rings, sweet American mustard and chips. The breakfast menu has been extended with Greek yoghurt, a bagel with cream cheese and a smoothie that contains a pound of fruit – 74 blueberries, five blackberries, more than three apples and just under two bananas. At the September results announcement, founder Tim Martin reported food sales at each Wetherspoon pub had increased from around £1,150, or 10% of average weekly takings of £11,500 per week on flotation in 1992, to around £11,000 per week per pub now on average weekly takings per pub of £34,000 (including VAT). Average food takings vary dramatically. A total of 75% of sales at the company’s pub in Fort William now come from food, while the figure is 70% at its pubs in Louth, Lincolnshire and Lymington. Wetherspoon is on track to record £400m of food sales this financial year. In March this year, ribs, peri peri chicken, southern fried chicken also made their menu debuts. A Tennessee Burger served with a Jack Daniels glaze and a chicken burger and a honey glaze gammon steak were also new to the offer this year. Other key innovations have included: a cheesy pasta, a hot dog, spaghetti bolognese and a banana split on the children's’ menu. The Indian Club menu, offered between noon and 10pm on a Thursday night, has a new "Indian Sharer" dish and a poppadum tower. The company’s Sunday Club added a large char-grilled roast half chicken in the March menu change.

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