A Lancashire bar operator has started offering pub meals for 15p in a bid to bring customers back, writes Lesley Foottit. Tony Callaghan, the Wigan-based owner of 14 pubs, has launched the deal at his Number Fifteen site in Ashton-in-Makerfield. It had been operating as a wet-only site and introduced a food offer on Monday (11 July). Instead of paying for advertising, Callaghan decided to offer 15p meals to raise awareness, which created its own free publicity. The offer will be on every Monday from 11am-3pm for the first four weeks. A £1.15 deal of the day will be available every day indefinitely to compete with the numerous £1 shops in Wigan. “We thought we would go down the route of not advertising and it has generated so much publicity,” said Callaghan. “It just went crazy on Monday — people were queuing around the block.” In the four hours that the deal ran, the pub served 410 people. He said: “Although that does not equate too much in food sales, the rule is that punters must eat their food in the pub and buy a drink. Average spend per head was around £2.50. “The rest of the week has remained busy without the offer with 40 to 70 people being served for lunch. Meals on offer range from sandwiches, jacket potatoes and pasta dishes. “All the food is ready to go to cope with the volume of people, but it is made from fresh, good quality ingredients.” Callaghan had previously trialled the idea at one of his bars in Chester, but tailored it to make people eat on site to benefit from drinks sales. A number of operators have tried cutting meal prices to boost footfall. In 2008 Marston’s leasehold the Four Crosses, in Hatherton, Staffordshire, attracted around 2,800 covers a week with its £1 and £2.50 meal offers. It later dropped the price to 50p. Town & City brand Slug & Lettuce also ran a £1 lunch offer for a limited time earlier this year.