35 million meals claimed in first two weeks of Eat Out to Help Out scheme

19 August 2020

The Treasury has published a news story which confirms that companies have claimed for over 35 million meals under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme since it was introduced two weeks ago. 48,000 claims have been made by some of the 85,000 restaurants that are participating in the scheme.

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the measure as part of his Plan for Jobs, and it is designed to help to protect jobs in the hospitality sector, which has been majorly impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus. The 85,000 businesses that have registered for the scheme include both larger high-street chains, such as Pho and Wahaca, and also smaller businesses in the UK.

The government is urging outlets to ensure that they submit their claims in order to receive the money they are entitled to back.

OpenTable provided data to demonstrate that restaurants have been on average 27% fuller than they were during the same period (Monday to Wednesday) in August of the previous year.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

“Today’s figures show that Britain is eating out to help out – with at least 35 million meals served up in the first two weeks alone, that is equivalent to over half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector.

To build back better we must protect as many jobs as possible, that is why I am urging all registered businesses to make the most of this by claiming back today – it’s free, simple and pays out within 5 working days.”

Approximately 80% of hospitality firms ceased trading in April 2020, and 1.4 million workers were furloughed. The number of individuals placed on furlough within the hospitality sector was higher than in any other sector.

No vouchers are required to receive the 50% discount – participating establishments simply need to deduct 50% from the customer’s bill. The discount is given to anyone visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday throughout August, up to a maximum of £10 per person. It applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was announced in the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Statement, along with plans to introduce a £2 billion Kickstart scheme and a cut to VAT for tourism and hospitality of 15%.


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