Pubs and restaurants in the Vale of Clwyd which took part in the UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August have hailed it a remarkable success with some claiming it was their busiest August on record.
More than 46,000 meals were claimed in the Vale of Clwyd under the scheme, according to the latest statistics, with 58 establishments in the Vale of Clwyd taking part.
MP for the area Dr James Davies is delighted that so many businesses across the constituency benefitted.
“I was pleased to hear of pubs and restaurants in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Meliden and St Asaph taking part, as well as many in more rural parts of the constituency. This boost in trade will help safeguard the future of these establishments and ensure that jobs in the Vale of Clwyd are not lost.
“My office has spoken to a number of those involved and the feedback has been amazing from everyone.”
John Unsworth Landlord, of the Dinorben Arms in Bodfari said the pub has never before experienced such a busy August.
He said: “Eat Out to Help Out served us very well indeed. It was almost like having a five-day weekend, although Monday to Wednesday was even busier than the weekends. As a result, we had a record August. We were fully booked all day on each of the days it was on.
“Normally on a Monday we do approximately 50 covers, but we were doing 200. All our pubs across North Wales took part in the scheme and it was a record August for them all.
“We didn’t bother reopening until people were allowed inside, so we literally went from having an empty pub one day to being completely full the next. It was absolutely unbelievable.”
Ben Devlin, Manager of the Red Lion Inn and Restaurant in Meliden, said:
“The scheme was absolutely brilliant, our phone never stopped ringing with bookings. We opened all day and the sheer volume of people coming in was phenomenal. It was a great incentive to encourage people to get back out there after lockdown and business has stayed busy since it ended which is fantastic. The only downside was that we were so busy I didn’t get to take advantage of the scheme myself!”
Habib Shah, one of the Managing Directors of the Village Masala, Rhuddlan, which employs 20 members of staff, said thanks to the scheme the restaurant experienced two of its busiest weeks since the establishment of the business 19 years ago.
He said: “This week we will celebrating having been in Rhuddlan for 19 years and we broke all our records this August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Two of the weeks were the busiest we have ever had, it was incredible.
“Unfortunately, we had to turn away hundreds. On the second to last Monday we turned away over 100 people because we were fully booked. The phone did not stop ringing.
“It was definitely a huge success, even the process of claiming the money back was quick and straightforward. I can’t praise it enough.”
Joules Hyslop owner of Patagonia in Prestatyn said:
“We re-opened our doors on the 5th of August to a booming trade, so much so it turned our working week around. We closed Saturday and Sunday, choosing to open Monday to Friday to capitalise on the scheme.
“Despite having a reduced capacity and having to work with one less chef, we used all 28 seats many times a night. Had we have had a 200-seat restaurant we would have sold out each night.
“We do feel that this scheme has helped out a number of businesses in the area and allowed the hospitality trade to make amends somehow for losing out on our usual peak season months. Going forward we feel that this scheme should be rolled out again, perhaps in the New Year.”
David Underwood, Manager of The Plough in St Asaph said:
“The Eat out to Help Out Scheme worked really well, as soon as we opened on August 3rd, we were busy. I think it encouraged a lot of people who were apprehensive about eating out to give it a go, particularly some of our older customers.”
The Ffordd Derwen, Rhyl, the Talardy, St Asaph, King’s Head, Rhuddlan and the Sunverge, Rhyl, are all Marston’s pubs and also took part in the scheme.
A spokesperson for the company said:
“We have a number of pubs in the Vale of Clwyd area which took part in the UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The offer was popular with guests and was successful in encouraging people to get back out into their local community. The measures that we have put in place since reopening means that people can enjoy pubs and reconnect with friends and family once again.”