Tier 2 rules – Pubs using microwave burgers, instant meals and refillable bowls of pasta to keep serving pints

DRINKERS have shared "hacks" their local pubs are using to carry on serving pints under Tier 2 lockdown rules.

New measures say alcoholic drinks can only be served alongside a "substantial meal," with landlords getting creative from 99p ready meals to refillable bowls of pasta so they can keep serving pints.

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Pub-goers took to Twitter to share the most genius "meal hacks" they have encountered since the four-week national lockdown was lifted last week.

One Twitter user said: "The pub last night was giving everyone a 99p microwave meal, still in its plastic, with their beers."

Another boozer has shared pictures with The Sun Online of publicans sipping crisp pints of Stella over steaming plastic containers of what looks like macaroni cheese and sweet and sour chicken – with white rice on the side.


Another social media user claimed he had been chatting with his local landords who suggested serving refillable bowls of pasta with pints.

He tweeted the "hack" had been okayed by a regular – who was also a QC.

It would mean drinkers could soak up the units with never-ending bowls of carbs, certainly substantial.

The refillable idea echoes a new "two chip rule," where drinkers leave a few bites of their meal on their plates so they can carry on boozing.

One Twitter user said his local had installed a microwave at the bar, with drinkers able to rustle up a quick Rustler burger with their drinks.

He wrote: "A pub near me have now put a microwave inside to serve rustlers burgers as a substantial meal with every pint!

"Surely donating a meal to a food bank every time someone buys a drink would be a better idea."

The comments come after one exhausted barman begged drinkers to only come to the pub if they were hungry, as he was horrified by the amount of food waste at the end of the day.

And another social media user suggested to scrap the burgers altogether and simply cook your dinner at home then ask the bar staff to warm it up – savvy and safe.


She wrote: "If not cook your own meal take it to the pub with you. Or take a microwave meal to the pub.

"Am sure they will have a microwave they can cook it in for you! Ping!!"

One pub landlord revealed he was using hot meal replacements as a "substantial meal" – the Who’d A Thought It pub in Plumstead, London, doesn't have a kitchen but is reopening by offering a new menu consisting only of the meals he's selling for £3.50.

Brian Hall, 65, says he just boils a kettle when one of his regulars orders one of the instant dishes, made by Huel.

This enables him to get round restrictions which would have prevented him opening the 'wet pub' in the run up to Christmas and cost him £5,000 per week in lost revenue.

Mr Hall says food he is serving from Huel's Hot & Savoury instant-meal range includes Thai Green Curry, Mexican Chilli and Tomato & Herb.

He said: "We’re a proper local’s pub and being closed has been tough for our regulars, especially the old boys who come down most days for a pint and a chat.

"We serve 1,000 pints a week, but food was never our thing and without a kitchen we thought we’d never be able to meet the ‘substantial meals’ requirement.

[It's] a pretty clever way to hack the system

"Huel Hot & Savoury is a pretty clever way to hack the system as all you need is a kettle, a bowl and a spoon.

"It’s a hell of a lot healthier than the packet of peanuts our regulars are used to having with their pint and if it means we can get our doors open in the run up to Christmas then we’re all for it.”

And on Saturday, The Sun revealed how one drinker appeared to have splashed almost £500 on booze – and topped it off with a £7.25 scotch egg.

A receipt for a posh restaurant in central London appears to show that a table of nine guests managed to get through 63 pints of Peroni – at £6.50 a glass.

The Refinery, which is under Tier 2 restrictions, also apparently served them twelve glasses of prosecco, for £6.95.

The bill then shows a single chorizo scotch egg was ordered for the whole table – costing £7.25.

However a spokesperson for The Refinery New Street said: "The bill has clearly been cropped and a substantial amount of food was consumed.

"The order also included three charcuterie platters, a number of yakitori plates, three falafel, a beetroot and feta salad and several portion of fries.

"All Tier 2 restrictions in line with Government policy were strictly adhered to. The safety of our team and our guests are our number one priority – our team wear masks, adhere to social distancing, service is at the table, payment contactless and we follow the most stringent of hygiene procedures.”

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