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Eat Out to Help Out discounts applied to 10.5m meals in first week

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Written by: Emma Lunn
11/08/2020
The government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been used to pay for 10.5m meals, saving diners £50m, according to HMRC figures.

The scheme offers people who dine in at pubs, cafes and restaurants 50% off their food, up to £10 per person. The discount is on offer on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August.

Businesses automatically apply the discount to diners’ bills – no voucher is required – and claim the money back from the government,

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the data showed people were supporting the sector, and its two million workers, in “big numbers”.

According to Yolt, a money app which analyses users’ spending, eating out transactions rose by 14% in the first three days of Eat Out To Help Out when compared to the same period the week previously.

Yolt also found that in July when lockdown measures were eased and restaurants and bars around the UK opened for the first time since March, spend on eating out shot up by 127% compared to the height of lockdown in April.

Pauline van Brakel, chief product officer at Yolt, said: “It is great to see people taking advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and taking the right steps towards smart spending.”

Tsewang Wangkang, founder and CEO of loyalty portal Embargo, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is great news for the hospitality sector. Yes it has its limitations, but any move to stimulate activity within the industry is very important.

“However, the scheme only lasts for one month. So, restaurants, bars and coffee shops must still ready themselves for the challenges ahead. As well as implementing new health and safety measures, they must focus on how they will attract customers and keep them coming back time and time again.”

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