Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon

After attending Nottingham University where he studied law, Tim Martin founded the first Wetherspoon pub in 1979 in Muswell Hill, London, at the age of 24.

After significant growth of the business, Wetherspoon floated on the London Stock Market in 1992 with 44 pubs. Today it has a total of 884 pubs, including a growing associated hotel business which now stands at 55 sites. Though hotel rooms are relatively new to the business, Martin sees it as a growth area as Wetherspoon focusses on smaller units of up to 50 rooms.

This Month The Caterer named Martin as the second most powerful person in hospitality in it’s Top 100 list, second only to WSH’s Alastair Storey, in recognition of his considerable power and status in the industry.

Of late Martin has found himself in a small-but-select group of pro-Brexit businessmen recognisable to the public. His views are more nuanced than a soundbite-driven media sometimes allow him to express - for example, he’s quite relaxed on the need for continued immigration post-Brexit in order to keep his own business, and others, staffed – but he is driven by a passionate belief that British democracy is better served at Westminster than in Brussels.

In December 2017, Martin was given what many would see as the ultimate recognition of his status, with an appearance on Desert Island Discs.