Kent pub offers 'pay what you can afford' meals to help with cost of living crisis

  • Sarah Saunders spoke to customers at the Queens Head pub in Boughton about its 'pay what you can afford' meal scheme

A Kent Pub is trying to help out with the cost of living crisis by offering customers a 'pay what you can afford' Sunday lunch.

The Queens Head in Boughton-under-Blean, between Canterbury and Faversham trialled the scheme this week.

Pub goers pre-book a table and they are charged for drinks but the food bill is presented blank and people pay what they can manage. It's expected that some customers will pay less, some will pay more to help support the idea in a pay-it-forward style.

* Publican Claire Hammond-Miller explains how the scheme works

Publican Claire Hammond-Miller said, "We wanted to do it because there are so many people struggling, and we were looking at different ways that we could support the community".

She explained, "Basically people come in, they book the table first and foremost. They order their food. They get their food. They are served exactly the same as any other customer. And in the end, they get a blank bill. The only money on that bill will be for the drinks. But everything will be blank. They will then get to decide what they pay."

"They might pay a fiver, they might pay fifty, whatever it will hopefully balance out. But that's it. Hopefully that's what happens."

Claire's husband Ashley Miller added, "People are struggling and don't get to go out with their families. You've got families that can't spend spend quality time with the kids and their parents because they can't afford it."

"For me they can come here, have a nice meal and pay what they can. Hopefully other businesses might follow suit with what we are trying to achieve as well."

Locals wanted to come in to support the scheme when they heard about it Credit: ITV Meridian

Dominic Deeson from the Faversham Foodbank said, "People who are struggling come to us for emergency food. These are people in crisis. They need other support as well. It's very hard psychologically when you're down like that and to have an initiative like this just gives them something else.

"It gives them a chance to socialise. It gives tham a chance to go out, because they don't often have the money to go out. So schemes like this are very important indeed."

So far the scheme is just a trial run, dependent in large part on the generosity of those who can afford to pay a little more, but if successful, 'pay what you can afford' Sunday lunch could become a monthly event.