The UK government has introduced a new scheme called ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ to help the food, beverage, and hospitality industry to recover. You and your loved ones can now avail a hefty 50% discount (with a maximum of £10 per person) whenever you eat or drink out throughout August.
Let’s learn more about the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme and where and how you can avail it.
What is the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme?
From 3rd to 31st August, customers can get up to a 50% discount when they eat at participating restaurants, cafes or pubs. However, the scheme does not give a discount on alcoholic beverages.
The promotion is available all day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, all across the UK until the end of August.
As mentioned earlier, you can avail a discount of up to 50% and the maximum discount available for each person is £10. The food and soft drinks will appear on the menu at full price, the restaurant will discount your bill, and they can then claim it back from the government.
Why has it been introduced?
The UK government has announced the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme to help struggling restaurants, cafes, and pubs get back on their feet.
Since the coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown has hit, the hospitality sector has been particularly hit hard. As one of the UK’s biggest employers, the hospitality industry has seen around 80% of venues shut down with over 1.4 million hospitality workers being placed on furlough since the lockdowns began.
Some restaurants and cafes have been able to offer takeaway services during the lockdown. However, this usually means lower spending per head and lesser employees, and still, it is not a viable option for many businesses.
As a survey conducted in mid-July by the Office of National Statistics stated, just 52% of UK adults would feel comfortable eating in at a restaurant.
With this discount scheme, the government hopes to attract more diners and improve footfall during even the earlier, quieter half of the week.
This scheme is being deployed along with other incentives, such as a VAT cut for tourism and hospitality businesses.
Where can you avail it?
Around 72,000 businesses have signed up for the scheme. These participating businesses include:
- Restaurants (including those in hotels, parks and leisure centres)
- Bars and pubs serving food
- Food halls with seating areas
- Work and school canteens
- Members’ clubs
However, catering services, B&B’s and mobile food trucks are not eligible for the scheme.
Aside from the big chains, numerous local, smaller restaurants, pubs and cafes are also participating in the initiative.
Hospitality businesses can choose to sign up and join the scheme at any time. Registration is online, and participants can claim the discount money back from the government and have it refunded within five working days.
To be eligible for the scheme, an establishment must have a dedicated dining or drinking area or have access to one and been registered with their local authority since at least 7th July 2020. Businesses which have used the furlough scheme can also apply.
With this search tool, you can search for participating in local venues within a five-mile radius. Some participating large chain restaurants may not be listed in the search tool so that you can find them here.
How can you avail the discount?
You can avail the discount at participating venues which are supposed to offer the full 50% discount all day, from Monday to Wednesday. This discount applies to the entire food and soft drink menu.
However, the discount only applies to the food and drink you will eat on-premises; it does not apply to takeaways. You don’t have any limit on how many times you can avail the discount or for how many people, and it also includes children.
The great thing about the discount is that there is no minimum spend and you don’t have to order a meal to be eligible for a discount. For instance, you can order a £4 lemonade which would cost only £2 under the scheme.
Plus, the scheme can be availed in conjunction with any other discounts or promotions being accepted by the venue.