1496, high street

‘Eat Out’ deals continue into September as owners bounce back with their own offers

September eating out offers

If you know of any more, let us know by email, or by calling 01309 255060

Cafe 1496 (01309 358120), High Street

  • Saturdays 4pm to 7pm – Afternoon tea including a cocktail and a glass of fizz for £20 a head (pre-book, sit-in or takeaway).
  • Saturdays 4pm to 7pm – Cheese board for two and a bottle of house wine for £19.99 (pre-book, sit-in or takeaway).
  • Sundays – Bounce Back Brunch – two adults ordering two mains, get a voucher for one free Sunday Brunch in October.

Ramnee Hotel (01309 672410), High Street

  • Fridays 5pm to 6pm – 15% off all sit-in food and soft drinks (no maximum spend). T&Cs apply. Booking by phone recommended.

Red Lion, Tolbooth Street

  • Mondays Noon till 8pm – 50% off food up to £10. Bookings advised, 01309 672716

If you know of a deal, or run an establishment with a deal, please email editor@forreslocal.com

Cafes and restaurants in Forres have had their busiest days on record, and diners have saved hundreds of pounds as they returned to their favourite eateries in August, thanks to the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme which offered 50% off their bills.

Now, on the first day of September with the scheme finished, local establishments have been busy creating new deals to ride the wave of success they experienced last month.

Carrie Custodio, owner of 1496 said: “We found the scheme very successful, it brought a whole new range of customers in that possibly were not aware of us, and are already seeing many returning on non-scheme days. We had to turn a way a lot of potential custom due to the understandable lack of tables.

“Honestly, some days business doubled.”

Carrie explained that if they learned one thing it was that folk love a deal. “We also learned that we can cope with a busy trade and that people are looking for something to do right now. The hospitality industry is running under very strict Covid regulations, which the majority are adhering to, so it makes us a safe choice for ‘something to do’.

Fully booked

The Mosset Tavern declared on Facebook that it was fully booked on several occasions, despite substantially increasing its seating capacity outdoors, warning people that they would be turned away if they didn’t have a booking. It also added that on 31 August, the last day of the scheme had been the busiest day of the whole year, as did Cafe 1496.

The Ramnee Hotel also had to turn people away.

Owner Stuart Sherwood said: “Mondays to Wednesdays were a lot busier than pre-lockdown and became the new weekend, and Thursday became the new Sunday, although we found a significant drop off in Sunday lunch. On our best day, we turned away 40 people because we simply had no more room.

“The scheme has been really great and enabled us to welcome back people who had not been to Ramnee in a long while.

“People enjoy coming to Ramnee because of the wide social distancing and ability to eat and drink outside with children on the large lawns. In a pandemic that helps a lot!”

Stuart added that the Ramnee would be offering its own deal throughout September, but admitted it was challenging when profit margins were thin, and they received no subsidy now the Government scheme is over.

Waiting list

However the re-opening of restaurants seems to have motivated diners to eat out even when the scheme didn’t apply. The Cluny Bank Hotel, which is closed to non-residents Monday to Wednesday for the time being, were full every Friday and Saturday throughout August with one exception, and had to operate a waiting list in case of cancellations, and also turned people away.

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