BEING able to eat out with friends or family is back on the menu again - and this month there's the added bonus of up to 50% off the bill at many Moorlands cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels.
The Government's 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme launches today offering the discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and soft drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday until August 31.
And with many of the district's establishments participating in the scheme, the council is encouraging people to support their local hospitality businesses and remind themselves just what they've missed in recent months.
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, council leader and cabinet member for Regeneration, pictured, said: "Being able to share a meal with family, or catch up with a friend over coffee, are pleasures that many of us have really missed during lockdown and that we can now begin to enjoy again as restrictions ease.
"We have some fantastic eating and drinking establishments across the Staffordshire Moorlands and many of them have signed up to the scheme so we're urging people to take advantage of the discount and support their local businesses.
"It runs throughout August and there's no limit to the number of times people can give their tastebuds a weekday treat. You don't need a voucher and there's no minimum spend - so there's every reason to return to your favourite places and to discover some new favourites as well!"
You can find out which businesses are participating in your area at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/
And if you operate a sit-in food or drink business and haven't yet registered to take part there's still time. Find out more at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme
Councillor Ralphs added: "We're pleased to see so many businesses already registered and people can visit with confidence that it's safe to do so. Businesses have worked hard to make sure they've introduced additional measures and that they are operating Covid-secure premises for their customers and staff.
"However, the virus is still with us so we all need to play our part in halting the spread by continuing to keep the required distance apart from others, washing our hands regularly or using sanitiser when out and about and getting tested if you have symptoms."
The council is further supporting local businesses during August by offering three hours of free parking on Council car parks across the district. This is in addition to the free parking scheme which is already in place before 9.30am and after 3.30pm.
In order for the Council to be able to monitor use of the car parks drivers will still need to display a ticket - ticket machines will issue a three-hour ticket for which there will be no charge.
Find out more about where the Council's car parks are, and other parking information, at https://www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/article/505/Parking