Britain eats out to help out – over 35 million meals claimed in first two weeks

By August 20, 2020NEWS

New figures today show that businesses have claimed for over 35 million discounted meals since Eat Out to Help Out launched two weeks ago.

  • the scheme, part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, aims to protect jobs in the hospitality sector – which has been hit hard by coronavirus
  • over 48,000 claims have been made by some of the 85,000 restaurants taking part in the scheme

Over 35 million meals have been enjoyed by diners across the country in the first two weeks of the government’s landmark Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.

Data released today also shows that over 85,000 restaurants have now registered for the scheme, including high-street chains such as Wahaca, Joe and the Juice and Pho as well as thousands of small businesses across the UK – including Bundobust (Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester) and Veggie Republic (Liverpool).

Over 48,000 claims have been made by some of these 85,000 restaurants so far and the government is reminding outlets to submit their claims to receive the generous government payback.

This comes days after data from OpenTable showed that restaurants have been on average 27% fuller than they were during the same period (Monday to Wednesday) in August 2019.

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.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme aims to help protect the jobs of the hospitality industry’s 1.8 million employees by encouraging people to safely return to their local restaurants, cafes and pubs where social-distancing rules allow. Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed, the highest of any sector.

Stephen Wall, Managing Director and co-founder, Pho, said:

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has really been amazing. It’s so nice to see our restaurants full of happy staff and customers again. It has certainly benefitted our early week figures and seems to have encouraged the British public to dine out safely, as our restaurants are filling up and staying busy throughout the weekend, too.

Many participating restaurants offer healthy and low-calorie options, and the scheme should be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. No vouchers are needed, with the participating establishment deducting 50% from the bill.

Anyone visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August will receive the half price discount up to £10 per person – keeping more money in hardworking families’ pockets and giving a vital boost to the UK’s hospitality sector.

Marko Husak, Co-Founder, Bundobust:

The response to Eat Out to Help Out has been phenomenal. Even though venues are operating at reduced capacity and with smaller teams following more thorough safety measures, we’re still managing to serve a similar number of customers on Mondays – Wednesdays that we were this time last year. That makes a huge difference to independents like us.

The scheme – part of the government’s Plan for Jobs – applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of £10. It could save a family of four up to £40 per meal.

Businesses have become Covid-secure through, for example, protective screens, contactless payments, social distancing, one way walking systems, online bookings and reduced capacity.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is one part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, announced last month. Other measures announced to protect, support and create jobs include cutting VAT for tourism and hospitality by 15%, a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and an £8.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

This support for the hospitality sector comes on top of the government’s unprecedented assistance for all businesses including through grants, tax deferrals, scrapping business rates, the furlough and self employed support schemes and government-backed loans.

New figures out today show that:

  • £35.47 billion worth of Bounce Back Loans have been approved, 1,174,854 in total
  • £13.68 billion worth of Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme loans have been approved, 60,409 in total
  • £3.50 billion worth of Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme loans have been approved, 516 in total
  • £588.3 million worth of convertible loans through the Future Fund approved for 590 companies

Notes

  • 35 million is not the total number of meals benefitting from the discount, as some businesses may not have claimed back yet
  • 85,147 businesses registered for the scheme so far
  • Claim back on the scheme
  • Latest statistics for Eat Out to Help Out
  • Find a restaurant that’s registered for the scheme
  • Guidance: Get a discount with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
  • More information on the Plan for Jobs here

Further Information

  • The scheme is open 18,19,24,25,26 and 31 August 2020.
  • There is no cut-off date for registration – businesses can register for the scheme up until and including 31 August 2020.
  • The Chancellor has visited a number of eateries that have benefitted from Eat Out to Help out – images available on our Flickr.
  • There is no minimum spend and the discount can be used at the same time as other offers and discounts. The maximum discount per person is £10. All diners in a group of any size will qualify for the automatic discount.
  • 8% of the UK’s workforce – over 2.4 million people – rely on hospitality, accommodation and attractions for employment. Of this, food and beverage services (pubs, restaurants, cafes etc) account for 1.8 million jobs.
  • 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and 1.4 million hospitality workers have been furloughed – the highest proportions of any sector. [ONS Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results, BICS Wave 3: 6 April to 19 April 2020, HMRC, Statistical Bulletin, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Official Statistics – 11 June 2020 ReleaseResolution Foundation: the full Monty]
  • Evidence from 2008 suggests that the hospitality sector could be a key contributor to the jobs recovery post-Covid. It generated 22 per cent of new jobs for unemployed people in 2010 and 2011, according to the Resolution Foundation, despite accounting for just 10 per cent of overall employment. Getting Britain working Safely again, 2020.
  • The sector employs more women than men, 56% and 44% respectively. ONS Labour Force Survey, June 2020, Graduates in the UK Labour market, 2017

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