IT’S easy to buy into a doomsday scenario as the lights go out on restaurants and bars across Manchester in the face of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic but now hospitality leaders are battling back to try and preserve vital survival revenue.
The #PayitForward campaign will encourage folk to purchase discounted vouchers at participating restaurants between now and Easter, with a view to redeeming them from May onwards.
For each voucher purchased, restaurants will make a £1 donation to Hospitality Action, the charity which offers vital assistance to all who work within the industry.
Manchester PR agency Roland Dransfield has launched the campaign along with Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord and other key food and drink movers and shakers in the city, in response to Government advice to stay away from bars and restaurants.
The initiative has the backing of Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB), top chefs Simon Wood and Aiden Byrne (below), Manchester Hospitality Action, Manchester Hoteliers’ Association and more.
“Manchester is a city that dances on tables, not hides under them,” said Lisa Morton, CEO and founder of Roland Dransfield. We are also a city that supports one other in the face of adversity. This campaign aims to raise consciousness and support for those businesses which are suffering right now, and will help to get cash in their tills.”
Specific discounts will be determined by each individual restaurant or hospitality company and will be promoted on their websites and social media accounts. Customers can view the list of participating venues on pay-it-forward.co.uk.
“I’ve spoken to the Mayor, and whilst people should heed official Government advice and take the necessary precautions, we also want people to continue to enjoy the night time economy,” said Sacha (below).
“#PayitForward will encourage people to consider how badly some of our city’s best-loved hospitality institutions are suffering currently, and to support them when they most need it.”
The initiative has been backed by Thom Hetherington, CEO of the Northern Restaurant & Bar trade show, itself pulled this week. He said: “Manchester’s hospitality industry has been at the forefront of the city’s recent renaissance, feeding and watering its residents and workers whilst attracting visitors by the million. The threat it faces, with Covid-19 and the resultant government interventions compounding an already challenging trading environment, is existential, so we at NRB will fully back any initiative that will help Mancunian bars and restaurants weather this particular storm.”
Mark Lewis, CEO of Hospitality Action, believes that “the value of the initiative is two-fold: first, it’ll give the public a whole new means of supporting the city’s hospitality operators, who are taking such a devastating hit to trading; and second, it’ll create much-needed funds for us to help hospitality people in difficulty or crisis.”