Digital & IT

Published: August 4, 2020 | Updated: August 4, 2020

Tasty venture as webmaster Elizabeth creates ‘Eat Out To Help Out Directory’ for businesses

Elizabeth Fowkes of Lily Digital with her doggy companion, Poppy.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An app listing local businesses participating in the government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ has been launched by a Christchurch digital marketing agency.

Webmaster Elizabeth Fowkes of Lily Digital decided to create the app after watching Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announce the scheme.

Eat Out to Help Out gives people up to 50 per cent off meals out, up to maximum of £10 per person.

It is aimed at encouraging them back into restaurants, cafés and pubs.

Anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50 per cent off.

Elizabeth said: “I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a directory of participating local businesses in Dorset and Hampshire?’ and that very day started work creating the app.

“There’s a government listing of all the restaurants, cafes and pubs taking part in the scheme but it will show establishments within a two mile radius.

“This app allows businesses to list in any number of 1,500  towns and cities in UK with website link, photos and links to their social media profiles for free.

“In version 1 of the app, businesses submitted an online form and then I added the listings myself.

“It quickly became clear that with thousands of establishments eligible the directory would not be ready until August 2021.

“In version 2 I created an app where businesses complete their own listing.

“Small owner-run businesses have limited time, funds and often know-how to promote their participation in the scheme and encourage people to eat out and try the ‘new normal’.

“They can submit their own listing to the Eat Out to Help Out Directory and add their own photos and text for free.

“New listings are shared on Facebook.”

Elizabeth said the Eat Out to Help Out Directory was growing every day with listings from the North of Scotland to the Irish coasts.

She added: “It would be great to have a huge choice of local Dorset and Hampshire restaurants, pubs and cafes available in the searches.”

LilyDigital.co.uk was named in honour of Elizabeth’s beloved Westie, Lily, who died suddenly in 2019.

The digital marketing agency offers small businesses affordable monthly marketing packages for custom website design, social media management, pay per click advertising on Google and Facebook and customer news mailouts.

Lily lives on in the business and a new doggie companion arrived last September with puppy Poppy now keeping Elizabeth company in her home-based enterprise.

To get listed go to https://eatouttohelpout.net/