Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak set out his plans to offer a discount to diners to encourage them back to pubs and restaurants after the coronavirus lockdown earlier this month. His scheme will run from 3 August to the end of the month.
Now, Stonegate Pub Company has launched a scheme similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, giving customers an automatic 50% discount off their bill from Monday to Wednesday across its entire estate.
Confidence to return
It joins multi-site operator Oakman Inns, which is running a copy-cat discount scheme on the same days until the end of July, with immediate effect. It will give customers 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a maximum value of £10 per person via an online voucher system.
Stonegate will not cap the discount at £10 for the next two weeks, unlike the Government’s scheme.
Helen Charlesworth, managing director of Stonegate Pub Company, said: “The safety and the wellbeing of our teams and customers have been at the forefront of our reopening activity. It is important our customers and staff have the confidence to return to our bars and are able to enjoy their time with us.
“We’re determined to welcome our customers back and I am excited to launch this campaign two weeks ahead of the Government’s initiative. We are committed to providing the best possible customer experience and this is just the start of many initiatives and campaigns that will be rolled out across Stonegate in the coming weeks and months to benefit our customers.”
Oakman Inns chief executive Dermot King said the company wanted to offer customers an incentive after the hardships faced during the pandemic.
King, who took on the position this month, said: “Our customers and staff have all been in this horrible mire for more than four months now and frankly, we thought we all needed a bit of cheering up ahead of August. So, with prospects of good weather and some lovely pub gardens to visit, this is our way of thanking our friends and loyal regulars for supporting us since we reopened.
“We were the ‘go-to’ pub group when the Government needed some input into health and safety measures for a safe reopening, and we offer a more secure environment than a crowded beach or park. It’s our tenner they’ll be spending – not the taxpayers’ – so here’s their chance to have a guilt-free meal from Monday to Wednesday until the end of July – day or night – at our expense.”
The incentives come after polling has shown customers still feel apprehensive about returning to the pub for fear of catching Covid-19, in addition to expected weak sales.