Prosecco brunches and curfew menus: Hospitality’s answer to curfew
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 24 September 2020
Curfew menus and drinks deals are being launched across Norfolk in response to the government’s order to hospitality businesses to shut by 10pm.
Already struggling with reduced covers due to social distancing, bars and restaurants have begun to draw up plans to keep customers enticed.
At fine dining restaurant Benedicts a curfew menu has been introduced – but chef and founder Richard Bainbridge is keen that the atmosphere of the venue is not lost.
As such a curfew menu served to its final round of customers from 8.15pm has been added to the menu, consisting of three courses as well as add-ons such as an appetiser and rice cakes.
“We’ll also be offering take away options on deserts and wines for example. What we don’t want is couples coming in for a special occasion and feeling like they’re being rushed to finish because of the curfew.
“For us we’re currently operating around 20 covers a sitting and it would really impact us if we lost that later round. So we had to think carefully about how to get 40 covers a night while maintaining the Benedicts experience we worked so hard to create,” he said.
At Mr Postles Apothecary, an independent bar in Tombland, manager Kier Slater said that it stands to lose half its bookings because of the news.
“We were fully booked – we were even busier than last year and that was pretty mad. It was going well with social distancing as well as take away options, but what’s happened as we’ve called people who have booked from 10pm onwards an earlier is they’re cancelling,” he said.
“People who have booked tables for 4pm and 6pm are cancelling because they planned to go on elsewhere in the evening. I think it’ll impact about half of our bookings.”
In response the team is looking at bringing in late night cocktail deliveries through platforms like Just Eat, as well as continuing much-subscribed promotions such as prosecco brunches and half price meals.
“Our processco bottomless brunches are £25 per head during the afternoons and are very popular. Then we have our cocktail and dinner menu at the same price and have 50pc off on Wednesdays. We always have promotions like this on which we will continue, but we want to see how it goes for the next week or so before making anything concrete,” he said.
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