Wetherspoons ‘game’ invented by Fareham man sees bold customers getting a free lunch from strangers
CHEEKY Wetherspoons customers are going online to ask strangers to pay for their pints and meals in a new craze sweeping social media.
Some lucky punters are managing to net hundreds of pounds of free drinks and food, which turn up on their table paid for by strangers who use the drinks delivery service through the pub's app.
Others find people on the other side of the world ordering them random items such as mushy peas and finger biscuits.
Customers are taking to posting their table number and the name of the Wetherspoons they are in on social media in the hope alcohol and snacks start appearing at their table, paid for by good-willed strangers.
One lucky group of friends in Malvern, Worcestershire, were even bombarded with more than £100 worth of food and drinks after posting on a dedicated new Facebook group called 'Wetherspoons The Game'.
Meanwhile, one woman in Birmingham attracted the attention of a man in Florida, USA, who sent her a cocktail.
The creator of the bizarre 'game' revealed a staggering 1,400 Britons from Penzance, Cornwall, to Scotland are now playing along daily, with people donating from around the world.
Players in the group tend to receive a peculiar variety of drinks including beer, wine, shots, cocktails and even whole bottles of prosecco. Food arriving on people's tables ranges from burgers to coleslaw, mushy peas and even Viennese biscuits.
Creator Chris Illman, a 38-year-old father-of-two from Fareham, said: ‘It has just grown so quickly, we are now up to 1,400 people in the group.
‘We have people playing across England, on the Isle of Wight, we have one guy that plays regularly in Wales and people in Scotland as well.
‘There is also someone in the group from Florida and someone from Portugal who sends things. The bloke in Florida sends stuff all the time.
‘I went out on my birthday recently and I only bought one pint all night. I just kept receiving shots, pints, food and I even got a whole bottle of prosecco.
‘In Malvern, in Worcestershire, there is a particular pub and the game has a huge following there for some reason.’
He added: ‘The game was started after I had seen a story about someone getting stuff sent to them on their birthday.
‘I thought it looked like good fun and when I went down the pub with some mates we tried it and we were sent so much food and drink from people - rum and cokes, halloumi fries, you name it.’
However, cheeky punters hoping to receive free drinks and not buy any in return will soon be found out by the group.
Mr Illman said: ‘We have had people join and just post where they are and not return the favour, but the group cottons onto that pretty quickly and so people will stop buying them stuff when they post.’
The group has also helped feed the homeless in Salisbury, Wiltshire, after generous members bought £260 worth of pizzas, chicken wraps, chips and chicken bites to be distributed across the city.
Mr Illman and group member Niamh Pickle, 36, came up with the idea after he ran a competition for someone to win £40 worth of food or drink at a Wetherspoons.
He said: ‘We ended up with about £260 worth of food, which was handed out to people in the city. It just shows there are plenty of good people wanting to help.’