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Eat Out to Help Out discounts applied to 100 million meals

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More than 100 million meals were eaten as part of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative which ran last month, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in hospitality.

The scheme offered diners at pubs, cafes and restaurants 50% off their food, up to £10 per person for bookings made between Monday and Wednesday throughout August.

More than 84,000 restaurants signed up to the scheme, making 130,000 claims worth £522m. But these numbers are likely to swell further as outlets have until the end of September to claim.

The figures from the Treasury also revealed that on the final day of the scheme, bookings were up 216% compared to the same day last year.

Further, OpenTable data showed restaurant bookings increased by an average of 53% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to 2019.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, thanked Brits for helping to protect 1.8 million jobs in hospitality as they took advantage of the discount meal deal.

He said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.

“Today’s figures continue to 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.”

While the scheme has officially ended, some restaurants have decided to continue the initiative.

Toby Carvery and Harvester are extending the 50% discount until 9 September. Mitchell & Butlers, which owns both companies, is also going to extend the half price deal at its Stonehouse Pizza branches.

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