Regulars at village pub the Devonshire Arms have spent £25,000 on gift cards to support their local during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The pub, in Middle Handley, Derbyshire, has worked with gift card platform Toggle to encourage loyal customers to buy cards which can be used to buy food and drink there once the pub can re-open.

The Devonshire Arms has built up an impressive following thanks to a combination of fresh, seasonal food, great drinks — including cask ales, cocktails and wine — and a warm welcome from the team, led by father and daughter owners John Tompkins and Alex Tunney, and manager Hugh Wragg.

The business took full advantage of Toggle’s decision to makes its service free once the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Hugh said: “The priority was to ensure that there was a pub to return to for staff, friends, and valued customers. We signed up on the Monday, and were live selling a huge number of cards from our website by the Wednesday. Set-up was quick and easy.”

He added: “The response has been fantastic, with £25,000 of sales so far, showing just how much our customers value the pub and its place in the community. Promoting the gift cards through our social media, and our 3,000-strong database, has also given us a reason to keep in touch with our regulars and keep the Devonshire Arms ‘family’ together.” 

Hospitality businesses can now access Toggle at usetoggle.com to quickly set up a bespoke, branded gift card webshop free of charge. Some 700 pubs, bars and restaurants are live on Toggle, 300 of them coming on board since lockdown was announced.

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