The UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme proved such a success that over 100 million discounted meals were enjoyed by diners last month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the Eat Out to Help Out scheme on 3 August as way of getting cautious diners back into restaurants. The initiative offered diners a 50% discount when they ate in at restaurants registered with the scheme, up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner.
Running on Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August, in its first three weeks 64 million meals were discounted through the scheme, which had no minimum spend and no maximum group size. The final week of the scheme saw the initiative smash the 100 million meals mark.
“Today’s figures show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.
“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation,” Sunak said of the 100 million meals milestone.
“Eat Out to Help Out has helped provide a lift in consumer confidence, which is going to be key for hospitality businesses as they look to reopen and help rebuild the economy.
“The scheme has provided a timely boost in trade, which will have helped many businesses safeguard jobs all around the UK,” added Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality.
The 84,700 UK venues that signed up to the scheme were reimbursed by the government for the diner discounts.
The total cost of the claims made by the participating restaurants stands at £522 million. Businesses have until the end of September to submit their claims.
Eat Out to Help Out has proved so popular that a number of UK restaurants are continuing to offer diner discounts during the month of September.
The Bills chain is extending the scheme off its own bat throughout September.
In London, steakhouses Gaucho and M will be doing the same, as will Kricket, Benares, Dalloway Terrace, Smokestak, Homeslice, Farzi Café, Polpo, Murano, Arabica, Bala Baya, Brindisa, Norma, Paladar, Lady of the Grapes, Camino, Mama Shelter London, Sam’s Riverside, Hicce, The Gilbert Scott, Norma, Shack-Fuyu, Arabica and Flesh & Buns.