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The pub, in Tower Gardens next to Liverpool Parish Church, St Nick’s, says the scheme has been so successful it’s decided to keep it going for an extra month once the Government’s comes to an end.
That means right through September, diners will get 50% off their food bill up to £10 per person when they eat out from Monday to Wednesday.
Owner Iain Hoskins says Rishi’s scheme did exactly what it hoped to do – encourage people back to a hospitality industry badly hit by coronavirus.
Now, with so many people still working from home and only just finding their way into a new post-Covid routine, he felt it was right to keep it going.
“It definitely achieved what it was meant to because it gave people the confidence to come back out, to return to their favourite places and to try new ones,” he says.
“It was a shame it wasn’t extended, although we understand why, but we decided to do it ourselves for a variety of reasons.
“Where we are, in the business district, obviously a lot of the offices aren’t fully open yet so we thought it would be a nice return for them if they want to come out for lunch or after work.
“Plus there’s also returning students to the city who might be looking for a bargain.”
Like other pubs and restaurants, Ma Boyle’s closed down five months ago due to coronavirus but it’s been certified Covid safe and Iain says they’ve had lots of positive feedback about new spaced tables and safety measures.
“We’re lucky because we have an outside seating option which not many places have at this end of town and we also back on to the church gardens which is a really nice overflow for us. We have a very good relationship with the church so customers sitting in the gardens come in for drinks which we serve them in plastic glasses and maybe little takeaways then we make sure it’s all cleaned up and any rubbish is cleared away afterwards.
“It’s a little oasis on that side of town, especially now Bixteth gardens isn’t there anymore, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will be really nice in September too.”
Iain says the August Eat Out to Help Out scheme attracted a mix of new customers, as well as regulars coming in earlier in the week or more often to take full advantage of the saving.
“It’s brought in people who haven’t visited us before or haven’t been for a while so it’s been a great way of reconnecting with them, that’s been the main reason for extending the offer.
“We didn’t just lose custom from Liverpool when we were closed, we lost a lot of tourism business as well because the volunteers who welcome the cruise ship guests and the hotels and will often point visitors in our direction.
“But during August we have seen quite a lot of domestic tourists, especially empty nesters, who’ve come out and found us either accidentally or when they’ve been looking for places doing the deal.
“We waited to see if the Government was going to extend it, because most people I know in the industry have welcomed it very warmly and as a punter I think we all like to save money.
“Now it’s up to businesses like ours where it has worked to make that decision for themselves and that’s what we’ve done. We’re going to keep it pretty much exactly how it was, 50% up to £10, the only exclusion is soft drinks. Our new deal is just on food.
“We hope that anyone thinking, I’ve not tried that place before, or people we consider regulars, will come in September and we can welcome them properly back into the fold.”
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