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Long queues at Norwich restaurants on final day of Eat Out To Help Out

PUBLISHED: 16:24 31 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:15 31 August 2020

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

Diners in Norwich were unfazed about hour long queues for restaurants as they made the most of the final day of Eat Out To Help Out.

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places.
Alice and Sandra Laycock outside 33 Cafe Bar
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places. Alice and Sandra Laycock outside 33 Cafe Bar Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

People flocked to the city to take advantage of the chancellor’s scheme which saw dine-in meals slashed by 50pc for the last time.

At Wagamama on Chapelfield Plain, Robin and Maria Vincent, both 49, from Swanton Abbott, and their three children, were eating out for the first time since lockdown.

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Mrs Vincent, a primary school teacher, who had been queuing for 50 minutes, said: “We didn’t feel safe to eat out until now, the final day, we needed more of an adjustment period. But we wouldn’t have travelled to Norwich if it wasn’t for the scheme.”

MORE: Restaurant boss tackles customers after receiving bad reviews

But as for future restaurant bookings, she said: “We haven’t booked anything yet or thought about eating out in September, but perhaps our outing today will open the flood gates.”

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

On Exchange Street, outside Cafe No 33, Sandra Laycock, a nurse, in her 50s, from Briston, joined a queue of more than a dozen people with her daughter Alice, 21.

Miss Laycock, a student at Norwich University of the Arts, said she had taken advantage of the scheme on each of the 13 days it has run and it was her second trip to Cafe No 33.

The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places.
Robin and Maria Vincent with their children outside Wagamama
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The last day of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme in Norwich sees queues outside some places. Robin and Maria Vincent with their children outside Wagamama Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Normally, due to a student budget, Miss Laycock said she “rarely” dined in at restaurants.

She said: “I’m back to university soon so I’m unlikely to keep eating out as I can’t afford it. But if the scheme ends up continuing in September, I would definitely carry on eating out with the discount.”

But for Toby Chenery, 19, from Halesworth, who was also queueing for Cafe No 33, the scheme had acted as a more of a deterrent due to the difficulty of securing a booking.

MORE: Tables few and far between as city restaurants see mid-week bookings soar

He said: “This is actually the only time I have used the scheme but that has mainly been because of work and the fact the scheme runs on weekdays. I’ve also heard that places have been overbooked and it’s impossible to get a table so that made me not bother looking into it.”

But Mr Chenery, who is on an apprenticeship, praised the scheme as a means of “keeping places busy on days they wouldn’t normally be busy.”

He added if his work schedule was clear he would look to eat out in the coming weeks.


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