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Restaurant served 5,000 people during Eat Out to Help Out

PUBLISHED: 13:11 04 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:50 04 September 2020

Staff at Lime Kiln Kitchen, at Thetford Garden Centre, thanked 4,837 customers who visited during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Photo: Lime Kiln Kitchen

Staff at Lime Kiln Kitchen, at Thetford Garden Centre, thanked 4,837 customers who visited during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Photo: Lime Kiln Kitchen

Lime Kiln Kitchen

Nearly 5,000 people visited a town’s garden centre restaurant during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Head Chef James Feuer at Lime Kiln Kitchen, Thetford Garden Centre. Photo: Keith MindhamHead Chef James Feuer at Lime Kiln Kitchen, Thetford Garden Centre. Photo: Keith Mindham

The Lime Kiln Kitchen, at Thetford Garden Centre, saw 4,837 customers walk through its doors, as part of the government scheme to support restaurants reopening post lockdown.

Julian Chittock, general manager at the garden centre, said: “It has been fantastic.

“It is an amazing government scheme and it has helped us get more of the team back off furlough and it has brought new customers into the garden centre and restaurant.”

But now the scheme is over, staff hope their customers will return and carry on supporting the business.

Lime Kiln Kitchen restaurant at Thetford Garden Centre. Photo: Keith MindhamLime Kiln Kitchen restaurant at Thetford Garden Centre. Photo: Keith Mindham

Mr Chittock said: “Prior to the scheme we were at about 50pc of last year’s turnover in the restaurant and during the scheme we have managed to get up to around 85pc of last year’s turnover.

“The difficult thing now is to maintain that.

“It is a very safe environment and people have come out for the first time and have brought their loved ones out for the first time since lockdown.

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“I’m hopeful that with everything we have in place, coupled with the fantastic service and excellent food, people will continue to come and see us now the scheme has finished - only time will tell.”

But the discounts have not stopped, as Lime Kiln Kitchen is still offering a VAT-reduced menu for customers.

Mr Chittock said: “We are really grateful for everyone’s support. We have a fantastic team here and they have made everybody feel extremely welcome and will continue to do so.”

Thetford Garden Centre have also revealed that its Christmas will be coming early.

General manager Julian Chittock, wears a face mask at the Thetford Garden Centre now they are open to the public during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGeneral manager Julian Chittock, wears a face mask at the Thetford Garden Centre now they are open to the public during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Chittock added: “We have already started on our Christmas display, that will soon be open and available to customers.

“We have started slightly a bit earlier but obviously during very difficult trading, gardening has been buoyant for us, but that will soon diminish and we need to start to look at Christmas. It’s a big one for us.”


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