Is There More To Wetherspoons Social Media Shutdown Than Meets The Eye?

Our favourite pub chain are taking social media detoxing to the next level...but why?

Is There More To Wetherspoons Social Media Shutdown Than Meets The Eye?

by Hannah Agbeni |
Updated on

In a weird turn of events, Wetherspoons deleted their social media accounts earlier this morning. The pub chain, known for its cheap food, cheap booze and convivial atmosphere, has become something of a social media star with millennial punters Instagramming pics of their bathrooms and extensive carpet collection at any opportunity.

READ MORE: The Debrief's Favourite Hangover Cures


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The Foodie Way1 of 8

The Foodie Way

News editor Sophie likes to tackle hangovers with food, 'Chicken flavour super noodles (or any other ramen noodle in a square pack) cooked as per the packet instructions but with a bit of crunchy peanut butter and soy sauce and sriracha sauce put in. Sometimes I step it up and put in rice wine vinegar and chillies and maybe some mushrooms and greens but mostly It’s noodles and peanut butter. It coagulates into a ball then you eat it.'

The Supermarket Sweep2 of 8

The Supermarket Sweep

According to editorial assistant Chemmie, Sainsbury's is the way forward, 'Thanks to my uni days and the allure of Sainsbury's Local just across the road, their meal deal became my hangover go-to. Ham hock sandwich, full fat Coke and Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli is your (my) man.'

Get Zesty3 of 8

Get Zesty

Culture editor Jess swears by self-loathing and showers, 'I roll around in bed reading Twitter until I become so disgusted by how late in the day it is that I’m forced to get up and get in the shower. Original Source lemon shower gel erases any of those gross memories of kebabs or fags and turning the temperature right down at the end gives you the shock/self-loathing punishment you need to go about the rest of your day.'

The Conventional Route4 of 8

The Conventional Route

Creative editor Anna sticks to tried and tested methods, 'My foolproof method is to start the day by taking two ibuprofen, which is an antiinflammatory so soothes a headache way better than paracetamol. I wash this down with pint of water, full fat coke & coconut water (sorry but it works!).'

Fishy Business5 of 8

Fishy Business

Natalia our picture assistant, swears by nostalgia telly and erm, fish. 'I watch back to back Friends and OC episodes. I like to eat tuna out of a tin when doing so.'

Multi-tasking6 of 8


Emma our social media editor has a number of tricks up her sleeve; 'A Lucozade! Or a Ribena with lots of sugar. Also eating my body weight in bread and actually…having another cold beer for lunch. Plus, I hate to be "that person" but actually bikram yoga has worked wonders before, sweating it all out etc.'

The Classy Cure7 of 8

The Classy Cure

Deputy editor Lena keeps things upmarket, 'At risk of sounding like a bit of a posh twat but San Pellegrino sparkling water is a winner. Scientifically it has the highest concentration of salt and thus is most satisfying on a hangover. And have now persuaded myself it's the only thing that works to justify the spend over normal soda water. In real dire times a 'Red Ambulance' aka full fat coke is bought instead.'

Hair Of The Dog8 of 8

Hair Of The Dog

Staff Writer Stevie goes in hard. 'Cheese, egg and bread based things throughout the day are essential; paninis, sandwiches, the lot. Then at about 4PM, a large glass of white wine mixed with soda water should sort you right out.'

In fact, Wetherspoons carpets are so revered that they have their own Twitter account - @SpoonsCarpets.

In a tweet that has now been deleted, founder and chairman Tim Martin says, ‘I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.’

In the age of 'if you didn't Instagram is did it even happen?' it seems like a bold move for a brand to go ghost online. But, then again, Wetherspoons reigned long before Instagram dominated our every waking moment so there's no reason to think this will change anything.

Explaining the reasons behind his decision, Martin says: ‘It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.’ He also refers to social media as having now become a negative platform to call out political figures and those in the public eye.

Maybe, just maybe the chain's social media cleanse is less about differentiating itself from other brands and more about saving its public image?

After all, the chain has had its fair share of digital mishaps from the fake Twitter account: @Wetherspoon_UK, to the Vote Leave beer mats, both of which have brought the brand considerable backlash (both on and offline). So time away, whether temporarily or indefinitely, could be necessary for repairing the brand’s image. Although, Martin who still chairs the company, is known to have backed the Leave campaign, so, then again, maybe not.

The decision to leave social media completely may also have come from the brand’s lack of positive social media traction. At the time of deletion, the company had 44,000 followers on Twitter and 100,000 on Facebook, very little in comparison with other food chains who come in at least 100,000 followers on Twitter and at least a million on Facebook.

Martin maintains that the Wetherspoons News Magazine will still be available as well as the app, but what good is that when a brand’s reachability is as important as the quality of products. Only time will tell...

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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