PUBS and restaurants in the city say they have been given a huge boost by a government discount scheme in its first week.

Diners throughout Worcester were able to take advantage of half-price food through the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme with many pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants welcoming the extra trade.

The scheme has proved vital for one city centre pub which has turned its usual working week on its head opening on its pre-lockdown days off and starting to serve food.

Alex Pope from The Paul Pry in The Butts said the first few days of the scheme had been brilliant for the pub.

“We’ve never had a busier start to the week I don’t think,” he said. “We didn’t use to do food on a Monday or Tuesday, it was usually our days off but we’ve dug deep.

“We’ve used it almost as a relaunch, we did takeaways, street food and some other things during lockdown, so we’re using the scheme as a bit of a platform to say we can do other things. So this will be us now. All of our stuff is super local and we only have local suppliers and as much seasonal stuff as we can.”

Tim Blackburn, manager at Mac and Jacs in Friar Street, said visitors to the deli had soared in the last three days.

“It’s definitely a lot busier, I would say it has increased by at least 75 per cent which is very significant,” he said. The past couple of days have been really busy so it will be interesting to see what it will be like tomorrow and the rest of the week and whether there will be a drop or not.

“The reaction has been great, some customers have been delighted and saying how much a bargain it is and generally people are very happy about it.

“I guess people are not as worried about having a second or third course now, it gives them the freedom to have that.”

Nicki Fletcher from Fred’s in The Tything said the scheme had definitely brought more customers through the doors.

“It’s definitely making a difference,” she said. “There’s a lot more business in the morning.

“There have been some new customers but also some repeat customers and they’ve said they will be coming back. I think people have been a bit shocked by the prices. It has all been really positive.”