The owners of Calver’s controversial Bridge Inn restaurant say sales of foie gras have increased by 135 per cent during the ten weeks since animal cruelty activists first started protesting about the menu offering outside their restaurant.
And, comparing the ten-week sales period since protests began with that of ten weeks before, David McHattie, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Samantha, says overall sales have increased by 78 per cent on the actual protest days - with sales increasing by a further 44 per cent on the most recent protest day on Sunday, compared with the previous two.
David said: “Far from driving foie gras off the menu the protestors have actually succeeded in making it a point of interest and the increase in sales have ensured that it would now be impossible to remove from the menu.
“We have been inundated with messages of support - even from those who are not fans of foie gras. Our guests are clearly upset with the methods adopted by these so-called protestors.
“The incidence of guests arriving to say, ‘we’ve come to show our support’ or ‘we’ve come to try the foie gras that all the fuss is about’ have continued to rise.
“Our guests are very keen to show their defiance and on Sunday during the latest protest we were absolutely heaving.”
In response to comments from animal rights campaigners that they were profiting from animal cruelty, the McHatties have pledged to donate £1 from every foie gras sale to a local food bank. The couple say the recent spike in sales will mean more donations for people in need of a meal.
David added: “While it would be tempting to try and placate the activists by donating money to animal cruelty charities, we are far more concerned about the fate and realities for humans who are struggling to eat at all.
“As a result of the activist’s involvement foie gras sales have increased by 135 per cent so we are delighted to say that more food will be donated to food banks in the name of foie gras.
“We will not be dictated to and are pleased that the activists’ continued actions have enabled us to do more to support the plight of humans in need.”