Falkirk area businesses benefitting from Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Businesses across Falkirk district are reaping the rewards of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 10th August 2020, 4:45 pm

Several restaurants, pubs, cafés and hotels in the region have signed up to the UK Government initiative, which officially began last week, in a bid to recover from the effects of the coronavirus lockdown.

The scheme entitles diners to a 50 per cent discount at participating premises on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in – up to £10-per-person – every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until August 31.

Firms will then claim a reimbursement from the government for the discount they provide.

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Boardwalk, near The Falkirk Wheel, has signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out initiative.

Many of the businesses which have registered with the Eat Out to Help Out campaign were able to report a surge in table bookings during the first week of the offer.

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32 of the restaurants and cafes in Falkirk district offering 50% Eat Out to Help...

Boardwalk in Camelon was one of the places customers flocked to.

Lisa McGinn, general manager, said: “It was a huge success. We’ve never been so busy.

The Plough Hotel in Stenhousemuir is benefitting from registering for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. Picture: Alan Murray.

“We were averaging around 300 lunches, 250 dinners and between 60 and 80 breakfasts. Normally we do about 20 breakfasts, 140 lunches and and 100 dinners.”

Lisa believes the restaurant will go from strength to strength once more diners find out Boardwalk is back to doing what it does best, and at a reduced price for three days a week this month.

She continued: “It’s probably more of an awareness of being open than anything else.

“With getting back open, people can see what we do and how well we do it. I would just like to thank customers greatly for supporting us, especially after the tough times we went through and are continuing to go through.

Jenny Duncan, owner of Tea Jennys. Picture: John Devlin.

“We look forward to continuing to have their business in the future.”

The Plough Hotel in Stenhousemuir is another venue which has been boosted by signing up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

However, despite an increase in custom, managing director Steven Allison says things are a long way off from where they would normally be.

He said: “We were incredibly busy last week but trade after Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was dreadful.

“I think people are thinking they’ll go out on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in August.

“The money we made isn’t any more than what a normal week was. We didn’t gain anything over the week but we still met the weekly target.

“At the moment, people are coming in for the offer so it 100 per cent has helped. We’ve gone from 30 or 40 checks and we’re already at 80 today.

“It’s definitely helping but it’s hindering trade later on in the week. I don’t think there will be many businesses who gain over the piece but it doesn’t matter when the money comes in, if it’s a Monday or a Sunday.

“The support from the locals and newcomers even prior to the offer has been incredible. We can only thank them and hope it continues.”

Jenny Duncan, who owns Tea Jennys in Falkirk, echoed Steven’s sentiments.

She, too, says the initiative is benefitting her business, even if it is impacting on trade in the latter part of the week.

Jenny said: “It’s been really good and it was a lot busier on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s hard to say how many more customers we’ve had because we've only got limited tables and people are queueing and having to wait a bit longer.

“We’ve only got five tables inside. The rest of the week was dead so people are definitely coming in for the offer.

“Saturday was one of the quietest days. There was a power cut so we had to close but it was quiet anyway.

“It’s certainly a help. I think it will continue that way. Today we were really busy.

“The morning isn’t busy. It’s over lunchtime that it’s pretty busy.

“We’ve had a lot of people who aren’t regulars which is due to this offer and that can only be a good thing.”

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