Diners across Eden have been taking advantage of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Since its launch on 3rdAugust, more than 35 million meals have been served in participating venues around the UK.
People are entitled to £10 off food and non-alcoholic drinks at places which are taking part Mondays to Wednesdays during August.
Richard Dutton owns the Pennine Hotel and Bistro on Market Square in Kirkby Stephen. He said that the scheme was good for both business and customers.
He said: “The scheme’s been going very well so far. We’re fully booked, day and night, five days a week. We’ve been busier than ever post-lockdown.
“Some diners come in and ask for the deal, but others are pleasantly surprised when they find out they’ve got 50 percent off. It’s brilliant.
“The scheme’s been great for people coming in with kids. They can get discounts on soft drinks and food.”
Richard said the scheme was giving customers more confidence to eat out.
He added: “The hotel is also busier than ever as it seems that lots of people who would usually be holidaying in Spain are now coming to the Lakes to enjoy the beautiful countryside.
“Our hotel is fully booked now until Christmas.
“People from London, who used to think the Lakes were too far for a holiday, are venturing out now and it’s really putting places like Kirkby Stephen and Penrith on the map.”
Cassandra Ann Lee owns Appleby’s Royal Oak Inn.
She said that the inn had been extremely busy during August and it was down to its participation in the scheme.
Cassandra said: “Customers are loving the scheme. I’ve noticed more people than usual ordering two or three-course meals.
“The start of the week used to be quiet for us and now Mondays to Wednesdays are our top days.
“We are taking lots of bookings in advance, and on Tuesday this week we had to turn customers away in the evening.
“We have felt a dip in the number of diners on Thursday and Friday lunch times as customers are looking to come on deal days.
“Luckily, we’re still busy on weekends too.”
Kriszty Vagra owns Simple Goodness, a vegetarian takeaway and bistro in Penrith’s Devonshire Arcade, with her partner.
Kriszty said: “Customers can feel relaxed eating out now.
“The scheme makes things affordable for people who are still on furlough or have lost jobs because of coronavirus.
“Now people can come to us for cake or a coffee or try new things that they couldn’t afford before.
“The scheme is not just for us, although we are very busy from Mondays to Wednesdays. It’s for customers who are very happy they can bring more family members out for meals.”
Kriszty said that Simple Goodness was also experiencing a dip on non-deal days.
Kriszty said: “People are still coming in Thursday to Sunday but we’re less busy than normal.”