THE first ever food and drink initiative ‘A Taste of Redcar and Cleveland’ has been deemed a great success amongst local businesses.
The scheme, which was based in Redcar and Cleveland, launched in January and encouraged residents and visitors to support the area’s hospitality industry.
Throughout the event, venues offered either specific event menus or specials within their existing menu at the four price points of £5, £10, £15 or £20.
A total of 25 business participated in the campaign with offers ranging from a coffee and cake combo to a three-course meal or a drinks package.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council surveyed businesses and customers who took part in the scheme and latest figures show that around £18,000 was spent in venues directly through the campaign, with more than 500 vouchers being redeemed.
All 25 businesses have said they would participate again as plans are currently being explored by the Council to bring the scheme back for autumn.
Initial customer feedback has shown that over 25% of respondents were new visitors to the venue they visited, 75% of respondents visited more than one venue during the campaign and over 25% of respondents spent over £50 per visit.
Wayne and Helen Leonard have run Cookfella’s in Guisborough for 10 years and took part in the scheme for two weeks on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as their weekends are often fully booked.
“It was especially beneficial having the scheme on for two weeks,” explained Helen. “We had just finished Teesside Restaurant Week and then went into this scheme, and we saw an additional 250 people come into our restaurant each week, which is just fantastic. We have really loyal customers who benefited from the scheme, but to see that many new faces come in the door was great.
“Over the past few years, it has been difficult for hospitality businesses, not only because of the pandemic, but people’s behaviour had changed following the lockdowns. It wasn’t until this Christmas we saw people for the first time really behave in a way they did before the pandemic. People are now spending much more time socialising, enjoying a drink as well as having their meal, which is how things used to be.
“There are still challenges of course, with the cost of living crisis affecting people, so schemes like this will really help businesses, especially during quieter months.”
Cllr Chris Gallacher, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for our local businesses who took part in this scheme. Feedback so far demonstrates that this has been great success which helped raise their profile and increase their trade. They have all agreed to take part in the next initiative which is a real testament to the project.
“It has been a challenging few years for the hospitality industry and I’m so pleased that our thriving and varied restaurant, café and pub scene has had the opportunity to showcase all that they have to offer.”