Eat Out to Help Out: Julie Marson MP and Bishop's Stortford BID join forces to promote Government's scheme in town centre
Bishop's Stortford's MP joined forces with food traders in the town centre to promote the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Julie Marson and Gina Thomas, manager of the Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District), talked to some of the people running the restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, pubs and bars which have signed up for the discount dining initiative, which launched on Monday (August 3).
There are 35 participating businesses in the BID area in the town centre: 24 independents and 11 branches of national chains, three of which – Cote, Bill's and Zizzi – remain shut four months after coronavirus lockdown was implemented. Nando's will reopen to eat in on Tuesday August 18.
Daisy Conn, who opened Atkins restaurant in the former Lemon Tree premises in Water Lane just three weeks before lockdown began.
She and her partner, chef James Atkins, were forced to close their doors just before Mother's Day when their new venue should have been fully booked with 220 diners.
Their dreams seemed to be in tatters and Daisy told Mrs Marson: "I didn't cope very well – I cried myself to sleep a few times."
The couple launched a takeaway service, but said the real life-saver for their business was the £10,000 Government grant which enabled them to pay their suppliers.
Now, as lockdown eases, Daisy said diners had returned and the restaurant was fully booked last Friday and Saturday – albeit with reduced capacity to accommodate social distancing.
Their two private dining rooms have proved invaluable as extensions to the main restaurant and venues for functions, with the first wedding party arriving next week and reservations being made for September and October.
She welcomed the Eat Out to Help Out launch as a further fillip for the hospitality sector.
More than 53,000 outlets across the UK have so far signed up and displayed the logo in their windows, advertising the 50% discount – up to a maximum of £10 per person – on food and non-alcoholic drinks on all 13 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.
No voucher is required and diners can take advantage of the offer as many times as they like during the month. Businesses have been promised their rebate from the Government within five working days.
Mrs Marson said: "The hospitality and tourism industry is an absolutely key part of our economy and I'm really pleased with what the Government has done to support the sector. I want to support anything which gets us through this and out the other side."
REGISTERED INDEPENDENTS IN THE TOWN CENTRE
- Ace of Lanes, Anchor Street (remains shut)
- Atkins, Water Lane
- Buffalo Joe's at Eat 17, Potter Street
- Café Riverside, Riverside Walk
- Caffé Inn, Florence Walk
- Chateau Café, South Street
- Cibo, South Street
- Coffee House, South Street
- DOUGH&co, Anchor Street
- Host Grill, Market Square
- Nostimo, Market Square
- Peach, Church Street
- Penny & Lou, South Street
- Pircio, Market Square
- Rindio café and deli, South Street
- Skew, Adderley Road
- Smoke BBQ Kitchen, Hockerill Street
- South Street Pantry, South Street
- The Bishops Cave, North Street
- The Dogs Head, Market Square
- The Port Jackson, Riverside Wharf
- The Villa, Station Road
- Water Lane cocktail bar, Water Lane (remains shut)
- Zara, Hadham Road
NATIONAL CHAINS TAKING PART
- Bill's, North Street (remains shut)
- Caffé Nero, Potter Street
- Costa, Potter Street
- Cote, North Street (remains shut)
- Giggling Squid, North Street
- Marks & Spencer, South Street
- Nando's, Potter Street (reopens to eat in on Tue 18 Aug)
- Pizza Express, North Street
- Starbucks, Jackson Square
- Subway, Apton Road
- Zizzi, Market Square (remains shut)
ALSO SIGNED UP
The following Bishop's Stortford venues have registered but are not part of the BID area
- Baan Thitiya, London Road
- Bishop's Stortford Golf Club, Dunmow Road
- Harvest Moon, Friedberg Avenue, Thorley Park
- H@me & Eat, Stansted Road
- Mint Leaf, Millars 1, Southmill Road
- The Marne Inn, Thorley Neighbourhood Centre
- The Mountbatten, Hazelend Road
- The Nags Head, Dunmow Road
- Manor of Groves Hotel and Golf Club, High Wych
- New Mexico, Bells Walk, London Road
- Peking Palace, Knight Street
- Star of India, London Road
- The Thatchers, Stortford Road, Hatfield Heath
- Villa Italia, Bell Street
- Ananta, Wicken Bonhunt
- Bombay Butler, Station Road, Stansted
- Crimson 8, Castle Walk, Lower Street, Stansted
- Dog and Duck, Lower Street, Stansted
- Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel
- Linden House hotel and restaurant, Silver Street, Stansted
- Lower Street Brasserie, Lower Street, Stansted
- The Cock, Silver Street, Stansted
- The Coffee Shop, The Priory, Thremhall Park, Start Hill
- The Cork House, Lower Street, Stansted
- The Cricketers, Clavering
- The Cricketers Arms, Rickling Green
- The Crown Inn, Elsenham
- The Old Bell Steak House, Pines Hill, Stansted
- The Three Willows, Birchanger
- Wood Grill, Cambridge Road, Stansted
- Yew Tree Inn, Manuden
* To find out which venue near you is participating, visit https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/.