One of Britain’s biggest pub chains is considering a ban on swearing after two customers complained that bad language was “increasingly difficult to ignore”.
JD Wetherspoon, which operates more than 600 pubs, may print a warning on menus asking drinkers to keep their language clean or risk being told to leave.
The company has resolved to find some way of confronting profanity following a protest from two regulars, Geoff and Anne Lee, that they found swearing embarrassing when they visited their local Wetherspoon with friends.
The Lees, from Ruislip, north-west London, wrote: “We are not prudes and are quite used to “working men’s language”, but suggest a gentle reminder perhaps incorporated into your tabletop promotional material might ‘prick a few consciences’.”
Tim Martin, the founder of JD Wetherspoon, said he agreed with the comments. “Many of us swear under our breath, from time to time, but it can be unpleasant to sit next to a group of people who are swearing in a loud voice.
“I’ve discussed this with our management team and we will respectfully ask customers to mind their language. Perhaps we shall include it on our table-top advertising material as well.”
Mobile phones may also be banned, or customers asked to answer quickly, after another regular, Harry Dale, from Leeds, complained about “the incessant ringing of these damn things”.
Unlike many company directors, Martin has a track record of actually doing something about customers’ complaints. For example, the vinegar sachets were changed after a complaint that they were impossible to open without squirting everywhere.
A partial smoking ban was introduced in 1992 after Martin found himself sitting next to a man in a pub who was smoking a cigar.