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Cheers! MP toasts reopening of Duck Inn, Redditch
MP for Redditch Rachel Maclean paid a visit to The Duck Inn on Pheasant Lane in Redditch today to celebrate the pub’s successful reopening under new licensee Vicki Gaffey1.
Vicki had taken on The Duck Inn at the end of February and had only been running it for three weeks when lockdown started, with Covid fear impacting customer numbers in the two weeks before. The pub has now been open for seven weeks and is proving hugely popular, helped by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and growing consumer confidence.
The Government scheme, due to finish at the end of the month, has been so popular that Vicki is launching her own Duck Inn Eat Out scheme and will be offering 50% off food Monday-Wednesday during September with no cap on spend. As with Eat Out to Help Out, customers will need to book in advance.
The Duck Inn’s popularity is in part is down to the comprehensive Covid safety measures it has put in place and which are rigorously enforced, establishing The Duck Inn as a safe place in which to socialise.
The investment earlier in the year saw the interior space made more flexible for different uses which helped with the social distancing reconfiguration inside. New seating, planters and festoon lighting fitted out outside, have made alfresco eating and dining more atmospheric and enjoyable. Vicki has also added extra tables and benches in the car park creating more space.
Vicki says: “I take Covid safety extremely seriously as we need to keep the community safe. As well as collecting track and trace details, we insist customers use a hand sanitiser when they enter and that they use the one-way system we have put in place. We have also introduced enhanced hygiene procedures for staff to follow. The overwhelming number of customers have been fantastic about adhering to the safety measures as they realise how important it is.
“Taking on a pub when I did wasn’t ideal, but The Eat Out To Help Out scheme has been a great help in encouraging people back into the pub. We’ve been booked out and are even starting to see some of the more elderly people in the community come back for lunch. So we thought let’s make that summer feeling last a little longer in Redditch and continue with a Monday to Wednesday discount ourselves.”
As for the future, Vicki is looking forward to one day being able to host music and events, but will bide her time until it is considered safe and sensible to do so. In the meantime, she is looking to introduce a Covid-safe quiz night.
Says MP Rachel Maclean: “Pubs: “It was a pleasure to visit The Duck Inn and see what a great environment Vicki and her team have created whilst keeping safety a priority. Good pubs play an important social role as hubs of the communities they serve and The Duck Inn is no exception.”
Adds Star Pubs & Bars2 Business Development Manager, Sophie Ma: “The Duck Inn is a superb family friendly pub, and with more people eating and drinking locally and Vicki at the helm, I am sure it will continue to grow in popularity. She is doing a fantastic job during challenging times.”
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