HOSPITALITY businesses have praised an ‘amazing’ initiative, ‘eat out to help out’ which was created to help the industry recover after the coronavirus lockdown.

A total of £562,000 was claimed by 104 restaurants in Mid Worcestershire – which includes Evesham and Pershore – throughout August under the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.

The discount entitled diners to receive up to fifty per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks - up to a maximum of £10 per person - on Monday to Wednesdays throughout August.

A total of 105,000 meals were claimed for throughout the month.

Venenzo Selrno, owner of Flavours in Evesham said: “It was a great initiative from the government.

“It was very busy throughout those days.

“It helped us to recover some losses we had in the previous part of the year because of the lockdown.

“It was a positive initiative.”

Kevin Donnigan, owner of Childswickham Inn and brasserie in Broadway said: “It was fantastic. It was amazing.

“It’s helped us to no end.

“It’s put us on the map a bit more too.

“We’ve got some more bookings from it for the future.”

MP for Mid Worcestershire Nigel Huddleston, pictured, said: “It was great to see so many people out and about in the restaurants, pubs and cafes.

“The hospitality industry employs hundreds of thousands of people and many of these well-loved establishments have had to close their doors for some time.”

“I’m glad that the Government set up this scheme to help us give them the demand they need to continue to thrive in our local communities and sustain local jobs.

“The scheme also helped incentivise and give confidence to people who had previously been reluctant to eat out.

“They then saw first-hand how seriously businesses and other customers were taking the new Covid measures and this helped build confidence in the sector.

“Thank you to everyone who used the scheme and did their bit to support their locals.”