Norwich businesses rack up million-pound bill thanks to Eat Out to Help Out
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Norwich restaurants have claimed nearly a million pounds back from the government thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme throughout August.
Across the month more than 214 restaurants offered the scheme, which saw people given 50pc off their meal up to £10 a head.
Businesses in Norwich South have claimed back £739,000 and in Norwich North £201,000.
The move was made by chancellor Rishi Sunak in a bid to save millions of jobs in the hospitality sector.
The average discount per meal were also below the £10 threshold – with the average at about £5.63 per meal across the region.
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The scheme has been called a “big success” by some of Norfolk’s biggest employers in the visitor attraction industry.
Adnams, which runs its own brewery and pubs as well as partnering with venues like the Rumsey Wells and William & Florence in Norwich, said the scheme had been a “big success”. Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s been a big success for us.
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“I think it’s been enormously enjoyed by all of our customers – certainly at the beginning of the scheme, people weren’t expecting it but were delighted to get it.”
“What we found is that it encouraged people to have a little bit more or to have something more expensive from the menu. People might have an extra bottle of wine for example.”
His thoughts were echoed by Anthea McNamara, owner of Logans Sandwich shop in the Lanes, who said the scheme helped offset the impact of revenue lost due to social distancing: “We had to reduce the amount of tables we had and it helped us keep all of them full, which has been a bonus. Having said that it is busy on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.”
As well as prompting spending in more populated areas like the city centre, the scheme also saw people putting their hands in their pockets in more rural areas.
Those in north Norfolk made the most of the scheme with 203,000 meals being a split-bill with number 11. This saw a total payout from government of just over £1 million. This was followed by fellow seaside constituency Great Yarmouth, with businesses claiming back in excess of £855,000 on the scheme.