Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin has reportedly told staff to "go work at Tesco" following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's order to shut pubs and restaurants at a briefing that took place last Friday.
In a video message to staff, Martin said the pub group will pay staff for all work done until the shutdown, reports RTE.
"I've very sorry about the situation that's occurred with our pubs. I know that almost all our trade now has gone to supermarkets," Martin said.
"Not only our trade, but the trade from cafes, leisure centres and restaurants."
"So we have had lots of calls from supermarkets, Tesco alone want 20,000 people to join them. That's half the number of people who work in our pubs," he said.
"If I'm honest, I say you can get the furlough payments and stay at home. If you're offered a job at a supermarket, many of you will want to do that. If you think it's a good idea, do it. I can completely understand it," he stated.
"If you've worked for us before I promise you we will give you first preference if you want to come back," he added.
Founded in 1979 by Martin, the company operates nearly 900 pubs, and employs in the region of 40,000 people.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.