WHEN the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced his plan to boost footfall in restaurants, pubs and cafes, not many people predicted quite the level of success the Eat Out To Help Out scheme has achieved.
Giving customers 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10, on Mondays to Wednesdays, encouraged diners back into hospitality spots, drawn in by the discount. With 35 million meals eaten in just the first two weeks, some restaurateurs have dubbed Monday-Wednesday the new weekend.
As Londra Gazete this week we interviewed, restaurant employers and community members to find out their thoughts in regards to the scheme. Majority of the responses we received advocated that this scheme should be extended.
As Bistro The Walk, we work with great devotion to serve our customers by always putting human health at the forefront. During this campaign process, we received a tremendous amount of attention, the beginning of the week felt like a weekend for us. Whilst we use to be busy on the weekend, now it is changed to Monday – Wednesday. Withal, you hire extra workers due to the intensity, but after the first 3 days, it is not as busy. It is difficult but not impossible to maintain hygiene. It is possible to ensure social distancing and by providing the necessary equipment has and hand sanitizers hygiene could be maintained. This scheme has been beneficial for both customers and us; I think this plan should be extended for a while. Of course, there is pros and cons, but there has been a serious contribution to the normalization process.
I have been working in Aksular for three years and recently we have been included in the ‘Eat out, help out’ scheme. We are incredibly busy on the first three days of the week; this discount campaign has been beneficial for customers and restaurant owners. We got our customers back again, most of them were a bit afraid of going out to restaurants due to the coronavirus, but thanks to this plan, they overcame that fear. The return of our customers is also very good for us; because we are busier, hence we are happy. This scheme should continue for a while. The only downside is controlling the spread of the virus. When it is crowded, it becomes more difficult to maintain hygiene. We have a hard time keeping the distance between customers, at times they all come to the till to pay at the same time. However, as Aksular we do more than we are capable to ensure a healthy and clean environment for our customers. If everyone takes, the necessary measure there will be no concerns.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, people were affected both psychologically and financially. This could be related to health reasons or even fear, many people have stayed at home for months or only went out to purchase essential goods. This plan has been good support for the restaurant industry, an important boost to the economy. On the other hand, restaurants are not that crowded after Wednesday. Whilst the discount campaign continues, nobody wants to go out on the weekend and pay the normal price. Using the discount campaign as an excuse, eating out has become more appealing. Hence, the takeaway business has been negatively affected because this campaign is only valid for “dines in” restaurants, so take-away was not preferred much. Small takeaway. However, despite that, the scheme should be extended until October but only valid once a week.
Right now, everyone’s common question is, “Will this campaign continue?” Thanks to this discount campaign, we eat at a very affordable price. It is impossible not to enjoy it. The effect of this plan created a stimulus, a balancing cactus for restaurant owners and customers. Businesses that have been closed for months are now open and customers are going out fearlessly to benefit from this discount scheme despite the virus.
The ‘Eat out, help out’ scheme has been implemented since the first week of August, and it has been good for all of us, especially when we go to restaurants with our family or a crowd. Most places were closed for about four months, and with this plan, there was an uprising and kind of return to normal life. However, I think there are quality and food restrictions in some places, at the same time some waiters or chefs do not wear masks. With the discount scheme, there has been a relaxation in terms of hygiene.
The eat out to help out scheme has been fantastic and I think it should be extended for another couple of month as our lockdown was longer than one month and people have been losing their jobs as well as deductions on wages over the past few months, so this will allow people to enjoy going out without the worry of overspending as much as they may have anticipated. The eat out help out scheme has had a positive effect on both businesses and customers. From the businesses point of view, it has made them more money as more customers are willing to eat out more often so restaurants are full. It has a positive effect on customers as well as they pay less for the food they love.