Morrisons is well known for its café, which has been praised on TripAdvisor for offering “the best supermarket dining”. Personally, despite never using Morrisons for my weekly shop, I’ve been in the café a few times after being told by friends it was worth a visit, which it certainly is if - like me - you love a bargain.
Last week Morrisons announced it had launched a new two-course set menu in all its cafés, allowing customers to get a main, hot dessert and drink for £8.99. It advertised dishes such as fish and chips, lasagne and even a roast dinner with all the trimmings, alongside a drink and topped off with a Bramley apple crumble or a sticky toffee pudding.
It can be claimed alongside the existing 'kids eat free' offer, which means each adult diner can get a free kids' meal as well if they're taking children along. The £8.99 two-course deal is available in every Morrisons café nationwide until April 2, so we went to our local Bristol branch to try it out.
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I noticed when looking at the menu that some of the adult mains are already less than £5, and with the kids eat free deal still going strong, a family of four can eat for just under a tenner. When you take this into consideration, you’d only genuinely be saving money with the new £8.99 deal if you would ordinarily opt for a pudding or naturally be inclined to choose one of the higher-priced main courses.
While this wasn’t true in my case, even if I had decided to go for one of the most expensive mains, which are £7.49, it wouldn’t have been possible. The roast dinner and the half roast chicken with chips and coleslaw had been crossed out with a black marker pen.
As a vegetarian, this made no difference to me, so I looked at the other options. The most cost-effective use of the deal would have been to order the mac’n’cheese or the sweet potato curry, which were the most expensive mains available alongside the lasagne (which unfortunately was not vegetarian). If I had chosen one of these for £6.49, I would have saved more with the deal.
Without the deal, I would have paid £11.37 for a main, pudding and a drink and saved £2.38. But I didn’t feel like either of those meals and instead chose the vegetarian bangers and mash with peas - which was only £4.99. That means I only ended up saving less than £1 for choosing the deal.
But in reality I probably spent more because if not for the deal, I probably would never consider ordering a pudding for lunch and would have only ended up paying £6.88 for a meal and a drink.
I dined on a Thursday lunchtime and had to wait 30 minutes for the food, but had been forewarned by the sole member of staff serving out front. Feeling hungry, I gobbled up my very tasty vegetarian sausages, mash and peas which were surprisingly not destroyed by the ridiculously watery gravy.
I must have eaten my main very quickly as the pudding - still piping hot - burned my tongue, so I had to go slowly. I didn’t like the look of the moist sponge at first that was drowning in thick custard, but my frustration of there being no apple crumble available were instantly forgotten as I started to eat it.
Although I’m not vegan and there are vegan options at the Morrisons Cafe, they don’t have any vegan mains on the set menu and the one pudding available was not vegan, so there’s some unfairness in the deal as it can’t be enjoyed by everyone. I would definitely go back to the café but I probably wouldn’t bother with the deal, even though the pudding was delicious.