THE opening day of a government scheme to offer half price meals out has been hailed as a success by Bradford district's pubs and restaurants.

Hundreds of sites selling food across the district signed up for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which began today, where customers can save 50 per cent on food or non-alcoholic drinks.

The scheme will run every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday up until August 31.

The month-long promotion has seen an increase in footfall at participating sites, which also include cafes and fast food chains.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tanya Gillow serves up meals at The Brown Cow, BingleyTanya Gillow serves up meals at The Brown Cow, Bingley

Ferg Barry, general manager of The Brown Cow in Bingley, says his pub saw a rise in trade for food on the first day of the promotion.

He said: "It's been good.

"It was busier than normal for a Monday. The latest news about Bradford's lockdown made it a little more quieter than usual, but it picked up today.

"We have been steadily getting busier since the reopening."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City Vaults in Bradford city centre has also signed up for the government scheme City Vaults in Bradford city centre has also signed up for the government scheme

Meanwhile, Joshua McLean, from the City Vaults in Bradford city centre, said he is hoping the scheme will see visitor numbers shoot up.

He said: "With it being the first day and getting used to the new systems we haven't overly pushed the scheme but we've still been busier than normal for a Monday lunchtime.

"We've given it a big push ahead of tomorrow on social media, so fingers crossed we'll see the numbers sky rocket.

"The scheme could help a tremendous amount, apart from Sundays the start of the week is our quietest time so it's perfect for us to get people in then, especially now there is no football on."

Natasha Morris, manager of The Oddfellow Arms in Harrogate Road, Eccleshill, said she has seen bookings increase by around 40 per cent on the first day of the scheme.

She said: "We have been pretty busy at lunch and are fully booked up this evening.

"We're at full capacity tonight and, for a Monday, that's at least a 30 to 40 per cent increase on normal.

"I think halfway through the first day of the scheme it's a bit hard to say the impact the scheme is going to have, but looking at what we have booked in I think it will be an advantage to us as a business."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Liam Wright, from the Boathouse Inn on the River Aire in Saltaire, added they had seen more people visit for lunch than expected.

He said: "There's been a good few people in today, not a massive increase but I think that's just while people get a feel for things with the new lockdown rules.

"We've had quite a few people ringing up to see where they stand with the new lockdown rules being able to go out and meet friends at the pub.

"Hopefully it will have a good impact, and people will see that it's not that scary coming back to the pub, and get more people coming out earlier in the week."