South Essex restaurants welcome commercial push
OCCUPIED restaurants and cafes are grilling a surge in commerce as diners spent thousands in Southend, Basildon and Castle Point to jump-start Covid’s much-needed recovery.
New figures show Southend dinners spent 39% more money in the week to 23 May than the week before, when only al fresco dining was allowed, with a bill costing £ 318.30.
At Castle Point, customers spent 72% more money during the period and a restaurant bill totaled £ 283.80.
Basildon also saw a huge increase in the amount spent in theaters ahead of May 23, figures from banking firm Revolut suggest, with residents spending 81% more and a higher bill costing customers £ 333.82.
South Essex businesses, including the Roslin Beach Hotel in Thorpe Bay, have worked hard to create safe environments that help attract dining enthusiasts.
Antony Tomassi, 66, owner of Tomassi’s in Southend High Street, said his business has been very busy.
He said: “We have found that clients stay longer and spend more money, with most having at least two classes and some three. Since we reopened to eat inside we have been full every day and it has been very good for us. We are still not at the pre-pandemic level and we still have reduced seats. ”
Steve Haslam, 55, director of catering companies TLC Inns and Morlynnes and owner of Bread and Cheese Pub in Benfleet and White Horse in Ramsden Heath, said business had been good. He said the trade continues to be positive and he cannot thank people enough for all their support.
Revolut data also shows spending in Southend on cultural activities such as trips to the movies between May 17 and 23 was 68 percent lower than a normal week before the pandemic in Britain.
In the city, spending fell 58%, with women aged 35-44 being the region’s biggest spenders – according to the banking company.
Overall, Southend residents spent a bit more on all activities during this period than the week before, including a 12% increase in transportation spending.