Just fast-forward a few months and well… things are a little different. We’ve all been missing our meals out (Nandos especially), and looking in restaurant windows at empty tables longing for custom. It’s sometimes hard to imagine how life once was.
In a time before coronavirus, you couldn’t move in pizza restaurants come witching hour (5-6pm), overflowing with parents and their exploring tots.
So, it came as welcome news when the government launched their ‘Eat out to Help Out’ scheme recently, in a bid to help ailing restaurants. What perhaps they didn’t realise is that it also gave many families the nudge to return to some form of normality.
Mum, wife, chef
You know what it’s like as a mum…. you’re also a cleaner, a maid, a chauffeur, an entertainer and chef! So by time Friday rolls around, you’re desperate for a break and a take-away. How grounding these past few months have been, to not have such luxuries.
Hauling the kids out for a meal now seems like an event in itself, and has given us all an appreciation for how spoilt we’ve been.
But there’s another incentive – the government’s ‘Eat out to Help out’ campaign.
Eat, clean, sleep, repeat!
The scheme from the government is pretty straightforward, here’s the lowdown
• The offer applies to dining out at any time throughout August. However, it must be on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 31st August
• You can get up to 50 per cent off food and drink – but, not gin (or any other booze for that matter!)
• There is a cap though; the maximum discount is £10 per diner
• Good news – you can eat out as many times as you like and there’s no voucher needed or restrictions,hurrah!
So, what next? Well go to the government website and check which restaurants are participating. It’s growing by the day.
Some handy tips
If you’re a bit nervous about dining out with kids, and it’s understandable after a three month hiatus, here’s a few tips for you.
• Avoid peak times if you can. A late brunch (10.30am) or an early lunch (4pm) will have less crowds, particularly on a Monday.
• Don’t forget many cafes are also involved in the deal, so even if you want to grab five minutes of sanity with a latte, you can do that too!
•If you’re worried about your little ones not sitting still and running around, bring some colouring pens and their favourite toys. Also, Munchy Play have launched a kids’ plate with a built-in track, which helps keep little ones at the table.
•We know that outdoor space is safer than being indoors, so look for dining al fresco where possible
• You don’t have to use face coverings in restaurants. However you can be extra careful by keeping contactless were possible. Using apps where possible and online menus, and don’t forget to tip the staff!
Try and book ahead – the usual desolate Monday to Wednesday is a thing of the past and these days will be more popular than ever!
So there you have it – plenty of reasons to eat out safely. We want to know where your first trip was – share it in the comments below…