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The Neverspoons logo. It is a black square with large white font. On top in large lowercase letters is says n s then underneath in much small writing it says neverspoons.

Neverspoons: The app putting small pubs on the map

By Jack Howes
July 29 2020, 21.00

Neverspoons. The app which took inspiration from a Twitter hashtag.

Neverspoons is promoting independent pubs and bringing offline businesses to an online audience.  

Pub giant Wetherspoons furloughed 99% of its 43,000 employees despite raising £141 million from a share placing in April, according to ITV.

This led to several pub goers questioning the morality of its owner, Tim Martin. 

App creator Shane Jones, and business partner Ned Poulter, said Neverspoons was made to help people find standalone businesses.

Mr Poulter said one of the key aims of the app was to marry together the online and offline connection of these pubs and make them more accessible in the 21st century. 

The app has quite literally put independent small pubs on the map.

The layout of the app shows all of the small businesses near to your location. 

Mr Poulter said: “A large part of it starts with Google or on your smartphone and we’ve been inundated with people submitting pubs. 

“Shane and I like to think we’re quite conscious consumers. So if we can go to a place where that helps out a small business, or an independent business, it’s nice to make that connection. 

“The ideal scenario is if someone can use our app to find a place that they would not have usually found and actively go and become a consumer, then that makes us sleep well at night.”

The app has been hugely popular since its launch on June 27. On the Google Play Store alone the app has had more than 68,000 downloads and 5,000 suggestions for pubs on the app.

At one point, Mr Poulter said the app was receiving a suggestion every minute.

User of the app Georgina Howes said she would not go to a Wetherspoons for the foreseeable future after how the company treated their staff during lockdown and will be a more conscious consumer.

“I don’t think they treated their staff well,” she said.

“The problem has always been that it’s always been so difficult to tell whether some pubs are privately owned or if they are large chains hidden trying to appear authentic. 

“The Neverspoons app has allowed me recently to go to independent places and try them out. Especially straight out of lockdown these places will need help.”

According to an Office for National Statistics report in January, the number of small pubs and bars in the UK increased for the first time in more than 15 years. 

However, due to coronavirus restrictions, the threat of a second wave and consumer confidence being knocked, it is likely that the numbers will fall again. 

Assistant bar manager of a Surrey pub Jamie Braysher said that smaller places will need all the help they can get, especially as winter draws in.

He said: “Since it has reopened, it has been busy. People have been able sit outside in the warm weather and socialise in a pretty normal environment.

“Although we have noticed that on rainy days it is much quieter as people are reluctant to come in and sit in tables of twos. 

“If not much changes with the virus between now and the winter months, it could be difficult for smaller pubs. That is because they may not have the means to seat lots of people indoors in a socially distanced way.”

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