Discount dining scheme helps boost city centre footfall

The Castle Street/Water Street location

The Government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme has contributed to a 27% increase in footfall to Liverpool city centre.

More diners headed for Liverpool’s restaurants during August compared with figures for July, the figures show.

Footfall data from Liverpool BID Company, which manages two main areas in the city centre covering a retail and leisure district and the commercial district, revealed the discount scheme helped the city to see it’s largest level of footfall since lockdown began in March 2020.

On the final Wednesday of the scheme, August 26, footfall figures were just a fraction under the last Wednesday before lockdown was introduced in March 2020 – 180,154 on August 26, 182,145 on Wednesday, March 11.

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme ran from August 3-31, and saw donors receive a 50% discount from their bill at participating restaurants.

The data shows:

  • The biggest impact was on Mondays, where there is a noticeable increase in footfall throughout August, compared with Mondays in July
  • Retail and hospitality reopening had the biggest increase on city centre footfall in June and July
  • The good weather in July, and then later August, helped to boost the figures as people took advantage of Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool’s, ‘Liverpool Without Walls’ and outside dining offer
  • Liverpool’s footfall is around a third down on the same period last year, largely due to a lack of international tourism and office workers.

Bill Addy, Liverpool BID Company chief executive, said: “The scheme has provided a much needed boost for both Liverpool’s hospitality sector, but also for the city itself.

“The hard work isn’t over, however, and as the scheme ends we’re looking at how we can continue to support our retail and hospitality businesses, significantly at ways in which we can continue to support outdoor dining later in the year.

“The sector has continued to come to us with their concerns and we will continue to lobby on their behalf, locally, regionally and nationally, to ensure they get the help they need to survive this year.”