The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Discussion Group

Online Discussions

The Discussion Group has been unable to meet indoors in a Covid-Secure way but has met up once outdoors.

We are to try fortnightly online discussions and for Discussion 1 the Questions are:

Week 1

Question 2. What lessons can be learnt from the “Eat Out to Help Out Scheme”?

Answers to be submitted by 2 September when the Group's findings will be circulated.

Members of the Group have been encouraged to phone or meet up and submit group answers if they wish.

Answers will be collated in the website so that Members of the Grouo can see what others are saying.


1. The Government's scheme, to subsidise eating out at restaurants & pubs to help them recover from the lockdown, has been very popular.

2. In the paper last week it said that rail fares are to be increased. Trains are running empty and buses the same because of the pandemic but also because fares are expensive and especially so for a family .

Why don’t they realise that making fares cheaper would attract business. You only have to look at how the cafes restaurants and pubs are suddenly fully booked on Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s not rocket science! Public transport full of people even if paying less in fares, will bring in more money than buses and trains running empty.

3. The scheme has worked/has been well-used for the purpose intended.

Anything to lift the doom and gloom.

It has meant yet more Government spending but it has been specifically targeted.

Unfortunately, though not unexpected, demand has exceeded supply. As usual not all Joe Public have cooperated (some impatient, rude if not abusive) and some pubs etc have withdrawn from the scheme which is a shame.

4-5 (part of small group discussion). There are a lot of greedy people! Means more debt. Bribery to keep businesses going.

Can see the intention of the scheme but wonder if it is the right way to spend money.

Monday-Wednesday quietest time of the week and will people stop going then once scheme stops.

It encourages people out and gives them confidence.

It is getting people back in the habit particularly if people are confident going to a place they know.

Pubs are doing quite well but worry what happens when the scheme ends.

Against extending the scheme. Need to face up to reality; can't just keep dishing the money out.

Regulars are likely to go back whatever the day of the week, e.g fish and chips at the Conservative Club on a Friday!

6. The "Eat Out To Help Out" seems to have increased the numbers going to eat out and some chains are continuing this system by funding it themselves.

The trouble is the vast majority of people are still reluctant to eat out.

Review of Fortnight's Answers

A small handful of replies only. Maybe the question was too easy or Members made the most of the scheme!

The scheme appears to have been well-publicised,  popular and has worked. (perhaps because everyone likes a bargain!)

Millions of people have gone out for a meal etc during the quiet 3 days of the week which will have helped cafes and restaurants etc.

This has helped to give some people confidence to go out again after the lockdown.

If people have enjoyed themselves they may return after the scheme has closed. Pubs etc may continue to offer discounted meals which they have done over the years.

Perhaps the main lesson learnt or re-learnt is that temporary price reductions will get a response, e.g. people rushing to get in within the time frame.

The lessons learnt could be adopted by other parts of the entertainment/leisure sector, e.g. discounted tickets, for travel, cinemas, theatres and other attractions, but again this is well-known.

There has been the temptation for some businesses to increase prices when at highest demand, e.g. school holidays. They may not be able to get way with this in future.

Maybe the Government could devise a scheme to promote staycations but they can't keep dolling out money to all and sundry.

Colin Bower
31 August 2020

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