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Eat Out To Help Out: Businesses claimed £849m for 160 million meals

Written by: Emma Lunn
Nearly 50,000 pubs, restaurants and cafes took part in the 50% discount scheme, according to HMRC.

By 30 September £849m had been claimed through Eat Out To Help Out, providing discounts for more than 160 million meals in August.

The scheme supported the hospitality sector throughout August by providing consumers with a discount of up to 50% off food and drink consumed in participating outlets. The discount was valid all day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August with a maximum discount of £10 per person per meal.

Claims increased each week throughout August peaking at £239m for 44.5 million meals for the period 24 to 26 August. The final claim week only covered one day which was the August bank holiday. Claims for that day were £95m which is 72% of the total amount claimed for the first week of the scheme.

More than 52,000 businesses registered for Eat Out to Help Out, with more than 49,000 of these making a claim. The average discount per meal claimed for was £5.24.

More than half (55%) of the discount was claimed by businesses operating primarily as restaurants with a further 28% claimed by pubs.

The claims service opened on 7 August and closed on 30 September. Each business was required to submit a separate claim for each week that they operated the scheme.

More than eight in 10 (83%) of the PAYE-registered business who participated in Eat Out to Help Out had made use of the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) to furlough staff since March. This reduced to 61% furloughing some staff in August.

The CJRS statistics published in October show that the number of employers in the accommodation and food service sector using the scheme reduced by 24% between July and August, but the number of jobs furloughed in the sector reduced by 42% over the same period.

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