More than 10.5m meals claimed on Eat Out to Help Out in first week

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry action: more than 83,000 hospitality businesses have signed up for the scheme
Industry action: more than 83,000 hospitality businesses have signed up for the scheme

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Diners have used the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to claim more than 10.5m meals in its first seven days, the Treasury has reported.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat out of home​​ during his Summer Statement on 8 July.

It can be used all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 August to 31 August 2020 to offer a 50% discount - up to a maximum of £10 per person - to diners for food and non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in.

Alcoholic drinks and service charges are excluded from the offer.

There is no limited to the number of times customers can use the offer during this period, however customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.

Average claim amount

Customers do not need a physical voucher as participating businesses should remove the discount from the bill and operators can then reclaim the discounted amount through the online service.

The Treasury estimated the average claim at about £5, meaning the cost of the scheme is at approximately £50m so. The Government has set aside £500m to fund the initiative.

Data insight firm Springboard, which measures footfall statistics, revealed the scheme had led to a rise in Brits visiting high streets.

It found the number of people in retail venues after 6pm on Monday 3 August (the first day of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme) was 19% higher than the week before and lunchtime visits were up by 10%. However, high street visits are still significantly down when compared to the same period in 2019.

HMRC said as of Sunday 9 August, it had received 10,540,394 claims under the Government scheme.

Claim details

Sunak said: “Britons are eating out to help out in big numbers and they aren’t just getting a great deal – they are supporting the almost 2m people employed in this sector.”

The Treasury said 83,068 venues across the hospitality sector have signed up for the scheme and the claim system is now up and running. You can find out how the claim the discount back from the Government here​.

Operators must wait seven days from registration to make their first claim. HMRC will pay eligible claims within five working days.

Claims can be submitted on a weekly basis.

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