PUBS and restaurants in Evesham and the wider area say they have been given a huge boost by a government discount scheme since it launched earlier this month.

Diners have been 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 promotion gives people up to 50 per cent off when eating or drinking soft drinks in a participating restaurant or other food establishment, and is valid Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday up to August 31.

A spokesman for the Trumpet Inn said: “We have definitely seen more customers.

"We have been fully booked for the next week a few days before.

“Mondays and Wednesday were the traditionally quieter days, so there has been a huge increase.

“We wondered when it started if everybody would only come out to enjoy 50 per cent off, and it would affect trade at weekends, but we have not seen that at all.

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“It is good to see new customers, we hope they become repeat customers. It would be good if something like this ran in January to help us in a quieter period of the year.”

Jane Burney at The Cropthorne Bell said: "Monday and Wednesdays have been crazily busy.

"Wednesday used to be our quietest day, at the moment it is the busiest. It shows the success of the scheme.

"The main thing is people aren't booking - we want people to book in advance, call us or visit our Facebook."

Mrs Burney added that they were giving excellent customer service and making sure everyone was happy with their meals, so that new customers would return after the scheme ends.

Nigel Smith, landlord at The Fleece Inn in Bretforton, said: "It has been a phenomenal success.

"One lady said she had been worried to come out, but was encouraged to do so by the scheme, and said she will be back now as realised it was safe to do so.

"We have seen a year-on-year increase in August thanks to a combination of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ and the weather."

Alistair Barlow, landlord of the Royal Oak, added: “We have seen a boost in trade, quite a bit actually.

"It has been busier.”