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Eat Out to Help Out divides opinion amongst Diss business owners

Businesses in Diss are divided on the impact of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which ended last week.

The initiative, which saw the Government subsidise meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August, has been lauded by businesses and commentators, but has not been without its critics.

One participating restaurant in Diss praised the scheme for bringing a vital lift to trade during a tumultuous six months.

Time Out Coffee owner Keith Canham described the Eat Out to Help Out scheme as "amazing".
Time Out Coffee owner Keith Canham described the Eat Out to Help Out scheme as "amazing".

Keith Canham, who runs Time Out Coffee and Food in Victoria Road, said that the scheme had brought in a groundswell of new customers.

“It’s been very successful – we got loads out of it,” said Mr Canham.

“I thought we might fall over a bit, with it just being Monday to Wednesday, and that we wouldn’t be as busy on Thursday to Sunday, but it’s made those days even busier, too.

“It’s been amazing, and it promotes the café as well – we’ve got people who are regulars now who never come in before.”

Takeaways, however, which were not included in the scheme, were more critical, claiming that it drew away potential customers.

Cemal Adiguzel, who runs Fair Green Fish Bar, said that business suffered as a result of the scheme – despite Mr Adiguzel introducing his own discount scheme – paid for out of the eatery’s own takings.

“When the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was on, our business was down,” said Mr Adiguzel.

“It has affected all takeaways – our customers were all going to the coffee shops and restaurants.”

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