Wetherspoon reigned supreme, once again, in the Loo of the Year awards.
The awards are aimed at encouraging the highest-possible standards in ‘away-from-home washrooms’ across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Independent inspectors visit thousands of toilets anonymously, including those in the hospitality sector.
The inspectors judge the toilets on a wide range of criteria, including décor, maintenance, cleanliness, accessibility, hand-washing and -drying equipment and overall management.
Toilets are rated bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond, with diamond being the highest and most prestigious award available. It focuses on the highest standards of cleaning and the provision of clean and well-maintained facilities to meet all users’ needs.
Wetherspoon achieved record levels of platinum and diamond awards – a total of 775.
The diamond winners were The Thomas Ingoldsby (Canterbury), The Troll Cart (Great Yarmouth), Harpsfield Hall (Hatfield), The Hengler’s Circus (Glasgow), The Henry Bell (Helensburgh), The Kirky Puffer (Kirkintilloch), The Sir Norman Wisdom (Deal), The Society Room (Glasgow), The Tullow Gate (Carlow) and The Thomas Waghorn (Chatham).
In addition, Wetherspoon’s pubs won a host of national category awards – for what the judges consider to be the best entry in each of the 61 categories throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Four Wetherspoon pubs were named as an award-winner in the pubs & wine bar category: The Swan & Angel (St Ives, Cambridgeshire), The Henry Bell (Helensburgh), The Red Lion Inn (Morriston, Swansea) and The Tullow Gate (Carlow).
A further four of the company’s pubs were also named as a winner in the hotels category:
The Bottle Kiln (Harwich), The Cross Keys (Peebles), The Castle Hotel (Ruthin) and The Old Borough (Swords).
Wetherspoon pubs were also victorious in further categories.
Opera House (Tunbridge Wells), The Picture House (Ebbw Vale) and The Silver Penny (Dublin) were each named as a winner in the historic buildings category (what the judges consider the best historic building with at least platinum-award loos).
Two of the company’s pubs, The Sawyer’s Arms (Maesteg) and The Forty Foot (Dún Laoghaire), were named as a winner, in their respective country, of the accessible toilet awards.
The other awards, won by Wetherspoon staff, were washroom cleaner of the year awards – awarded to cleaning staff who look after Wetherspoon’s loos, judges commenting that this was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company also won the overall UK/Ireland in-house cleaning team trophy.
Judges placed Wetherspoon in the 2020 UK champions’ league, awarded to those entrants with eight or more entries, with five or more diamond or platinum awards (Wetherspoon achieved 10 diamond awards; of the remainder of its entries, 92.8 per cent achieved a platinum award).
For the third year running, Wetherspoon also won the 2020 corporate provider trophy.
This is a UK-only award, presented to the corporate organisation or authority with 10 or more entries which, in the judges’ opinion, maintains a consistently high standard of away-from-home toilets.
Loo of the Year Awards’ managing director, Mike Bone, said: “Wetherspoon entered pubs and hotels across the UK and Ireland. These were inspected, during August and September, during unannounced visits by Loo of the Year inspectors.
“All of the inspectors were impressed by the high levels of provision and cleanliness – and Wetherspoon should also be complimented on its COVID-19 measures to prevent infection, including rigid enforcement of track-and-trace procedures, hand-sanitising, separation of tables and isolation of facilities in washrooms to assist with social distancing.
“The reward for its achievements – record levels of prestigious diamond and platinum awards, national and UK/Ireland awards.
“The market-leading pub provider not only offers exceptionally well-designed and unique pubs, but also has award-winning toilets which meet a basic human need of its customers, in spacious and attractive surroundings.”
Wetherspoon’s chief executive, John Hutson, added: “We are proud that our pubs have been recognised for the quality and cleanliness of their loos.
“Our staff work hard to maintain the cleanliness of our pubs’ toilets for their customers.
“We will continue to invest heavily, in terms of design and money, to ensure that all Wetherspoon pubs offer first-class toilets.”