NEWS

2011-12-21

£1.99 Xmas dinner

A BARGAIN boozer is defying the economic crisis this festive season by offering the cheapest Christmas dinners in the country for just GBP1.99. 

The Four Crosses Inn, in Cannock, Staffordshire, is offering a full Turkey roast with all the trimmings for the same price as a Christmas selection box.   

And for just a pound extra, punters can enjoy a dessert of Christmas pudding and custard or a variety of starters, meaning a three course lunch will cost just under GBP4.  

Landlord Tony Rabbitts, 51, came up with the idea of making cut price home-made food  after other schemes failed to bring in the customers during the financial crisis. 

The pub was on the brink of closure, until the offer drew the punters back in and now Tony and his wife Kay,52, have extended the successful offer over the Christmas period.

"We thought we'd keep the prices low over Christmas time because it wouldn't be fair to raise them at this time of year especially with the way things are at the moment," said Tony. 

"We're looking to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to people who are struggling at the moment with job losses, and the such. 

"Now people who can't afford to go out at the moment can eat out this Christmas on the cheap.

"People can get the full Turkey roast with all the trimmings for GBP1.99 and the starters and desserts are only a pound as well."

Since introducing the cut price pub dinners back in October, the business has managed to stay open by attracting punters in and making most their money from drinks sales. 

"We've made enough to survive at the moment but not everybody has been so lucky," added Tony. 

"If we hadn't have dropped our food prices to a quid we'd be out of business by now - luckily the punters keep coming and we're doing 500-600 covers a night. 

"It had got to the the point where we almost had to close, we tried everything.

"We did two-for-one offers, tried posh food and buffets - nothing worked.

"With the smoking ban and then the credit crunch sales fell, so I came up with the idea to sell all food for a pound.

"People think that they are going to get small portions, but we give them good, home-made food, that are big portions.

"So we've extended this to out Christmas menu - we're not making an amazing profit on it but we're doing enough to get along."

With wife by his side, Tony also recruited his son Ben, 29, behind the bar and daughter Jessica 24, is a waitress.

Having the family as a family-run business means that the pub doesn't have any extra outgoings, says Tony.

He added: "Luckily I haven't had to hire anymore staff, because there's me, my wife and my two kids who all work together."

CHRISTMAS MENU:

Starters: 

Seafood cocktail

Home made vegetable soup, 

Brussels Pate 

Egg mayonnaise

Main:

Christmas dinner - turkey roast with all the trimmings - 3 types of veg, sausages/bacon, stuffing, mash and roast potatoes. 

Dessert: 

Christmas pudding 

Apple pie and custard

Ice cream 

Rice Pudding