A new Android app which finds alternative independently-run pubs close to J. D Wetherspoon sites and other major chains has already proved popular.
The new app, which according to its Google Play page has been installed over 50,000 times, now has more than 4,500 pubs listed.
Developed by friends Shane Jones and Ned Poulter, it allows users to submit their favourite locals and taprooms as alternative destinations.
The app uses the phone’s location to suggest the nearest venues, with independent pubs marked in green.
Jones said the app was an attempt to halt further pub closures as a result of Covid-19 and the economic downturn.
“Far too many traditional pubs closed down after the previous recession and it was pretty sad to see,” he told Bristol Live. “Post lockdown could see us heading back that way.
“There are too many of these former pubs in amazing buildings, now derelict, that used to be the central hub for a lot of communities.
“The message is simple: if you do want to head out to the pub as they re-open, consider avoiding your local Wetherspoon and instead support a smaller independent pub taking the necessary steps to do so safely during these odd times.”
The app is also being developed for iPhone users, but according to the website, it will take “a few more weeks”.
The name is inspired by a hashtag that began trending on Twitter back in March, after reports circulated that founder of pub chain J.D Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, would defer payment of staff wages. The pub operator said its comments had been misinterpreted and that staff would be paid for their work.
The company furloughed 99% of its 43,000 employees during lockdown and has managed to raise £141 million from a share placing in April to boost its fortunes.