Licensee Pete Edge, who runs North Walsham’s the White Swan, says locals are ‘gobsmacked’ by his blackboard, which tells customers they are welcome to bring meals to the pub - as long as they buy a drink.
Edge told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “We used to serve home cooked food, but since the EU allergens came in I haven’t got the time. Allergens have got out of hand - most restaurants have two or three chefs to go through it all and work it out but there’s just me here.
“People are really surprised when they see the sign-they’re more used to hearing that they can’t bring food in. It’s out of rhythm with what everyone else is doing but people are starting to come around. I’ve got a group of 20 ramblers coming in, and even if they all only buy a half, that’s 20 more drinks then I would have sold before.”
“I’m even happy to plate the food up for people if they want.”
Local cafes, restaurants and fish and chip shops stock their menus at the pub and Edge hopes the approach will benefit the pub and other local businesses.
The novel approach appears to be paying off, with one group of customers who brought their fish and chips telling a local newspaper they wouldn’t have visited if it wasn’t for the policy.
Pubs who break allergen laws face an unlimited fines, with a survey earlier this year revealing that only 10% of diners feel more confident eating out since the legislation came into place.