Wondering why Manchester venues are selling restaurant vouchers? Well, it’s tough times all round in the hospitality industry, for obvious reasons, and Manchester is no exception. Buying a voucher for a few of your favourite restaurants achieves a few different goals. Most importantly, it supports them at a time when they have low to minimal income, meaning they can bounce back when lockdown eases enough for them to open their doors.
Also, it shows moral support. At a time when some of the city’s most beloved venues are closing down, it shows you appreciate what they do and promise to turn up when it’s possible to do so. Some places are even combining this with a donation to charity, and often you’ll find them bumping up the value of the voucher so they’re worth a hefty chunk more in food and drink than what you’re paying out.
But it’s not just the restaurants and their staff. Lockdown is taking its toll on people the world over, so we need to find glimpses of hope and pleasure where we can. A £50 voucher on your mantlepiece can serve as a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that these current restrictions won’t last forever, and soon we can start going out and eating and drinking with the people we love at the places we love. So don’t just buy restaurant vouchers for yourself, buy one for friends and family and make a promise that as soon as physically possible we’ll be out together, doing what we do best.
Here are our picks
Nibble, 36 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now
One of our favourite independent cafes, the good people at Nibble are selling a range of vouchers on their website, at all different price points. Best of all, they’ll donate £1 to Hospitality Action when one is purchased, and even bump up the value by 25%. Helping out charity and your pocket? Now you’ve no excuse.
The Rivals Bar & Restaurant, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann's Square, Manchester, M2 7DH - Visit now
The Royal Exchange Theatre is one of Manchester most beloved theatres, and with both industries struggling during the pandemic, a voucher for the in-house restaurant is a perfect way to show your support.
El Gato Negro Tapas, 52 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4LY - Visit now
Offering up some of the best small plates in Manchester, this King Street restaurant should be a priority destination once it reopens. Get ahead of the crowd with an advance voucher, available from their website.
Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar, 22b, The Corn Exchange, Corporation St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3TR - Visit now
If you like Italian food, you’ll love Salvi’s. Blessed with a wealth of history, beautiful and authentic food and exceptionally charming staff, this is one place to look forward to dining at after lockdown ends. Plan it now with an advance voucher.
Wood Manchester, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA - Visit now
Simon Wood is fast-becoming one of the city’s most loved celebrity chefs, though he’d no doubt balk at the moniker. A meal at Wood could involve dazzling high-end creations or a quick bite to eat – with a voucher, the choice is yours.
Kala Bistro, 55 King St, Manchester, M2 4LQ - Visit now
Vouchers might not seem like something you’d expect from Gary Usher, self-styled hardman of the Manchester food scene, but even he’s realised he can’t duff up a microscopic virus. Buy an advance ticket for his city-centre restaurant and enjoy a high-class meal once it reopens.
20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now
This grand venue serves up some of the most delicate high-end food in the city, along with those world-class views over Manchester. Want a truly special meal once the restaurant industry is back on track? Put a voucher on it.
The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place, Salford, M3 5LH - Visit now
The Lowry Hotel plays host to many famous visitors to Manchester, and the River Restaurant more than matches up to the quality of the rooms. Buy an advance voucher for a post-lockdown meal and stick it in your diary.