‘We have to stand on our own feet’- Restaurants reveal new incentives as Eat Out to Help Out ends
- Credit: Archant
Great Yarmouth’s restaurants have hailed the impact of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, with some bringing in new offers to maintain momentum.
As the scheme, which offered 50pc off bills or £10 per person from Monday to Wednesday, ran throughout August eateries across the town said it had delivered a huge lift and given consumers the confidence to venture out.
At The Yankee Traveller in King Street, Oliver Hurren said he was keen to carry on giving customers an extra reason to visit with a new offer coming in this month.
Although the diner couldn’t carry on giving the government discount it was offering a free children’s meal with every paying adult from Monday to Thursday 4-6pm.
Mr Hurren said of the scheme: “It was a great help.
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“It felt like it put the life back into restaurants, and not just for those days - for the whole week.
“September is not going to be as busy but we can only have so much help and now we have to stand on our own two feet.”
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Paul James at New Concept Inns which has four watering holes across east Norfolk and the Broads, said his venues had been running at full capacity during the scheme with the New Inn at tourist honeypot Horning being particularly busy.
Having taken over during lockdown and rushed in new systems, staff there had been working flat out and needed a break, he said, as the scheme came to an end.
At the company’s other establishments - The Ship Inn at Caister, The Jolly Farmers at Ormesby, and the Kings Head in Acle - the decision had been taken to carry on with the offer at the chain’s own expense.
Because the pubs had been operating at a limited capacity and not for the whole of August, Mr James wanted to give people the chance to sample the new menu at the discounted price as the company worked to build a brand that would appeal to year-round locals.
“On the one hand we are trying to build a brand for food at these sites, and we are scared that we will lose the impetus we have generated as the kids go back to school and the holidays end.
“We really want to focus on the locals,” he added.
Jonathan Newman, Great Yarmouth town centre manager, said the lure of a cheap lunch had boosted footfall in the town centre.
“It was something we all needed to get us confident about sitting down and eating again,” he said.
“The concern is what will happen next.
“Will people continue to eat out and use premises that have brought in extra staff, or will there be a bit of a downturn?
“It was something unique and something that will probably never happen again.”