Wetherspoons are running out of ketchup due to Eat Out to Help Out

Wetherspoon pubs are running out of tomato ketchup due to popularity of Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme

  • Wetherspoons hit by ‘high demand’ and reduced supply after a flooding at Heinz
  • Small sachets of tomato ketchup, brown sauce and mustard have been impacted
  • It today emerged over 64 million meals have been had using Eat Out to Help Out

Wetherspoons are running out of tomato ketchup due to Rishi Sunak’s popular Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.

The pub chain was hit by ‘high demand’ and reduced supply after flooding at Heinz’s factory during storms.

Sachets of brown sauce and mustard have also been impacted amid fury from customers.

It comes as it was revealed more than 64million meals have been claimed by diners since the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme was launched this month.

Sachets of tomato ketchup, brown sauce and mustard have been impacted amid fury from customers (file photo)

The pub chain (pictured, one in Cornwall) was hit by ‘high demand’ and reduced supply after flooding at Heinz’s factory during storms

A worker at The Gateway (pictured) in East Didsbury, Manchester, added: ‘We’ve not had any ketchup for weeks. It’s the great tomato sauce scandal’

One diner at The Coinage Hall in Helston, Cornwall, told the Sun: ‘I went to get some from the condiments table and there was none left.

‘I felt robbed. Our fish and chips were ruined.’

A worker at The Gateway in East Didsbury, Manchester, added: ‘We’ve not had any ketchup for weeks. It’s the great tomato sauce scandal.’

Among those hit are The Three Hulats in Chapel Allerton in Yorkshire, The Dragon Inn and The Square Peg, both in Birmingham, and The Old Unicorn in Leeds.

A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said: ‘We apologise to customers. We are working with our suppliers to resolve the issue as soon as possible.’

Heinz added: ‘Unfortunately, there was some flooding in our Telford factory.

‘The good news is that all our lines are back up and running and we are working hard to return to full supply.’

The hospitality industry has seen a surge in demand since the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was brought in at the start of the month.

More than 64million meals have been claimed by diners since the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme was launched this month

The Treasury said it shows a continued ‘upward trend’ in dining, after 10.5million meals were claimed in the first week, climbing to 35million for the first fortnight.

A total of 87,000 claims have been made by restaurants and cafes signed up to the scheme, it said.

Pub and hospitality leaders have called on the Treasury to extend the scheme, which has now entered its fourth week.

Eat Out to Help Out has provided diners with a state-funded 50 per cent discount on food and soft drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays in August.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Today’s figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality – with more than 64 million meals discounted so far, that’s equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs.

Eat Out to Help Out has provided diners with a state-funded 50 per cent discount on food and soft drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays in August. Pictured: Chancellor Rishi Sunak

‘This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly two million people who work in hospitality.

‘I am urging everyone, where they can, to continue to safely enjoy a meal while the scheme remains open.’

Claims from the first two weeks of the scheme cost around £180million, according to HMRC.

David Page, co-chairman of Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore, said: ‘Eat Out to Help Out immediately increased our restaurant customer numbers by over 50%, thus enabling us to get all our staff back to work.

‘In fact, we are now creating new jobs by hiring and training more people as fast as we can.’

Andy Laurillard, chief executive of Thai dining chain Giggling Squid, said: ‘As a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we have managed to avoid making any redundancies and we no longer have any of our 950 staff on furlough.’

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