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‘You are not going to lose the Yankee Traveller’ - how popular restaurant is riding out coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 15:06 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:06 14 April 2020

Yankee Traveller owners Oliver Hurren and Charles Thurston. The popular restaurant is in good shape and looks certain to survive the coronavirus pandemic thanks to its loyal customer base Picture: Oliver Hurren

Yankee Traveller owners Oliver Hurren and Charles Thurston. The popular restaurant is in good shape and looks certain to survive the coronavirus pandemic thanks to its loyal customer base Picture: Oliver Hurren

Archant

Reputation, affection, nostalgia, tradition - Oliver Hurren can’t be sure of the defining factors but people are still loving a burger and fries.

Yankee TravellerYankee Traveller

Since the Yankee Traveller re-opened in September Mr Hurren and business partner Charles Thurston have been bowled over by the response.

“There has not been a quiet night at all, even mid week,” Mr Hurren said.

And lockdown has not dimmed the popularity of the King Street restaurant.

From the day the Government told them to shut up shop the phone has not stopped.

“Our biggest problem has been trying to serve every customer that wants a delivery,” Mr Hurren said.

“We have our head waitress taking orders on the telephone and at the back the chef is cooking it and boxing it up.

“The delivery driver will then pick it up.

“When the government said to close restaurants, but you could have a take away, we could have shelved it and hopefully come back to it.

“But we thought we can provide a service, we have a good customer base that has stayed loyal, and if we can provide food and cheer people up then let’s do it.

“We can cover our costs and can keep staff feeling like they have a purpose and can provide a service.

“Providing people keep ordering and are loyal we are not going anywhere.

“You are not going to lose the Yankee Traveller.”

Mr Hurren hailed the loyal support of customers in keeping things going.

“If we did not have that support then we would be quite worried about re-opening,” he said.

“The home deliveries are getting us through and covering our fixed costs.

“We are not looking to make any money, it is just so we are not digging a big hole that we cannot recover from.

“And the response has been huge.

“We have not been able to keep up. We cannot answer the phone quick enough.

“We are offering the full menu, we are trying to look at it as if we are taking the restaurant to them.”

The Yankee Traveller has been offering American-style dining since 1973.

It’s sudden closure over Christmas 2018 was met with shock and disappointment, its tried and tested menu overflowing with fries proving the perfect formula for countless occasions across the decades.

When it re-opened in September diners were quick to flock back to enjoy the same food, served by the same staff.

The tables are now empty, but some five drivers are delivering to Great Yarmouth and the outlying villages from Wednesday to Sunday.


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