The ongoing pandemic has resulted in many adverse health and economic effects across the world. It has also resulted in many governmental policies designed to combat those effects. One of particular relevance to us at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge is the current government policy to help support restaurants. It goes by the slogan “Eat out to help out”.
Like many other governments, the British Government has a long history of both promoting and summarizing policy initiatives into catchy slogans. Especially in times of national crisis, such as during war time. So let’s have a look at some classic slogans, and see how “Eat out to help out” compares to them.
Straight off it’s clear that it has nothing on the WWI recruitment slogan “Your country needs YOU!” There’s something so iconic about the image of Lord Kitchener in that poster that it has become timeless. Perhaps it’s the moustache. English men just don’t grow moustaches like that anymore. Similarly, it can’t compete with the classic WWII version “Keep calm and carry on.” These two slogans became memes decades before memes were a thing. The text being easily changed for any circumstance while remaining instantly recognizable.
Still, it’s not quite as bad as an earlier Conservative slogan, “Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” The answer to which was the resounding “NO” the British electorate provided at the ballot box in response. But perhaps it is equivalent to another WWII classic: “Dig for Victory!” This being the initiative for the British public to sacrifice their gardens to instead grow potatoes during the war. A clear and concise idea of how the public can help the nation in a time of crisis.
Of course the whole point of a slogan is to get across an often complex idea in a straightforward manner. Britain has no monopoly on this. Other classic favourites from around the world include “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” From the French Revolution. A cutting turn of phrase. Nice and sharp. Then of course the easiest re-election slogan in American politics, “I Like Ike!”
The Gritty Details
But as usual the devil is in the details. In this case, here they are:
For total bills of over £20 (not including alcoholic beverages), restaurant customers receive a flat £10 discount per person.
For total bills under £20 (not including alcoholic beverages), this discount is instead 50%.