A Kent licensee is giving away food in a bid to get customers back into the pub — in a deal called `credit munch`.
Punch lessee Charlie Gibbons at the Bull Inn, Eastry, has started offering free meals between 5pm and 7.30pm in an effort to beat the credit crunch.
Four dishes are on offer — lasagne, cottage pie, fish pie and cauliflower cheese. Only 12 meals are being given away free as they trial the concept.
Gibbons said: “I started it because afternoon and evening trade died — people have less disposable income.
“We had four takers on the first evening. A lot of people think it’s a joke, but there are no catches. Customers just call one day in advance to book their place.”
It costs Gibbons about £1 per head to provide the home-made food, but he estimates that wet sales increased by £200 in the first week of the scheme.
“Of course, the hope is that they will buy a drink, but if they don’t want to, they still get the food,” he added.
Gibbons has been at the Bull Inn for six years. “2007 was our best year ever, but this year trade has been quiet since Easter. We’re not in trouble, but I realised I needed a new way to get bums on seats,” he said.
Gibbons plans to run the promotion until December, when he hopes Christmas trade will kick in. There are plans to start the offer again in January.
This story first appeared on www.morningadvertiser.co.uk