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Restaurants reveal surge in bookings for Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Restaurants saw a surge in bookings following the launch of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme this week.

Customers who ‘eat-in’ at participating restaurants can get up to a £10 discount per person on food and non-alcoholic drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

The majority of Windsor’s vast collection of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops have signed up while a selection of venues in Slough are embracing the initiative.

Sundar Mallavarapu, manager of Swagath South Indian Kitchen & Bar, in Slough High Street, said the scheme had tempted diners back to the tables after a tough few months.

He said: “We’ve found that our customers have been down because people are not coming to the High Street to come and eat.

“From the experience of the last few days we can say that things might now be looking more positive.

“Being in the summer and with people working from home they want to get out and we’ve had a lot of calls asking if we’re doing the Government scheme.”

The South Indian curry house remained closed for the majority of the COVID-19 lockdown before re-opening for takeaways in June.

Sundar said the Government initiative had provided a boost in numbers with only one table empty on Tuesday night, a day after the scheme launched.

Tarek Elawadi, founder of Flaming Cow in Eton, said the scheme is accounting for 25-40 per cent of revenue at the minute.

He said: “We didn’t really know what to expect but the response has been really positive.

“We thought it would only be in the evenings but the day time as been busy as well, the scheme initiative for us is certainly working, we’ve had to put on more staff.”

He said the scheme as well a VAT reduction has worked well for the independent restaurant in High Street.

He added: “I try and keep on top of the industry and see what is happening, the big players are having hard times but I recognise as a small independent we are able to adjust and flex a lot easier, we can downsize faster and we don’t have huge fixed overheads.”

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