‘A lot of people were a bit unreasonable’ - Reflections on Eat Out to Help Out

Andrew Felton, owner of Drifter's Fish and Chips said some of the customers made the scheme difficul

Andrew Felton, owner of Drifter's Fish and Chips said some of the customers made the scheme difficult. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Restaurant and pub managers fear the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ boom in trade might not help them in the long run.

Sally McGrath, General manager of The Gallow sports centre in Fakenham said the experience was exhau

Sally McGrath, General manager of The Gallow sports centre in Fakenham said the experience was exhausting as they coped with the influx of customers. Picture: Aaron McMillan - Credit: Archant

Sally McGrath, manager of the Gallow in Fakenham, said the experience was “exhausting”, but “incredibly beneficial” as they coped with the influx of customers.

She said: “The only trouble is the false sense of security.

“You have a lot of people coming out to eat. But, now it is over, will they come back?”

The scheme aimed to entice people back into pubs and restaurants saw the government cover 50pc of meals, up to £10 per person, on Mondays to Wednesdays in August.

Musa Ali, manager of Ranis Indian Dining said that around 90pc of his customers were new faces.Pictu

Musa Ali, manager of Ranis Indian Dining said that around 90pc of his customers were new faces.Picture: Supplied by Musa Ali. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


Some eateries are planning to extend the deal out of their own budgets rather than through government support, but Mrs McGrath said that was not an option for the Gallow.

“We cannot afford to run it into September,” she said.

Most Read

“We are not that type of business, we are not a Wetherspoons, and that’s a fact of life.”

Andrew Felton, manager of Drifters fish and chips in Oak Street, Fakenham, said not everybody had reacted well to the scheme.

Musa Ali said they hope to pull people back with more discounts, but its not going to be the 50pc Pi

Musa Ali said they hope to pull people back with more discounts, but its not going to be the 50pc Picture: Supplied by Musa Ali. - Credit: Archant

Mr Felton said: “A lot of people were a bit unreasonable.

“When you are that busy there is always going to be a wait time. It’s more bad than good.”

“When you are inundated we couldn’t give the service we could normally do.”

Musa Ali, manager of Ranis Indian Dining in Yaxham, near Dereham, said that around 90pc of his customers were new faces.

The landlady of The Swan Inn, Carole Dearden said the atmosphere was okay in the pub, sometimes it w

The landlady of The Swan Inn, Carole Dearden said the atmosphere was okay in the pub, sometimes it was a little hostile. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Mr Ali said: “We have made a lot of people happy. But there shouldn’t be anything to make them feel that they can’t come again.

“If they don’t come again it is going to be a real loss.”

Mr Ali said the restaurant hoped to pull people back with more discounts, but they could only go so far as he aimed to keep his staff employed.

Mr Ali said: “There will be no furloughing after October and I don’t want to lose my staff.

“They are like family.”

Carole Dearden, landlady of the Swan Inn in Dereham Road, Mattishall, said they also had a few issues with customers.

She said: “The atmosphere was okay in the pub.

“A lot of people were a bit hostile because they couldn’t get a table. But apart from that, it was okay.

“I wouldn’t do it again, because the staff had to take quite a lot on.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus