55% of operators saw weekend trade impacted by Eat Out to Help Out

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Split opinion: operators were divided on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in the latest poll
Split opinion: operators were divided on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in the latest poll

Related tags: Legislation, Food, Soft drinks

More than half of hospitality operators saw their weekend affected by the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, new research has found.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll from Lumina Intelligence also found that 50% of operators reported average spend was down as a result of the discount.

The 208 operators quizzed were also split down the middle on how the scheme had impacted sales, with 50% saying they exceeded expectations, 21% saying takings had fallen below expectations and 29% finding sales on par with expectations.

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.

Number of claims

Eat Out to Help Out 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.

The Treasury reported diners had used the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to claim more than 10.5m meals in its first seven days.

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

Operator confidence

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

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. Operators can find out how the claim the discount back from the Government here​​.

Meanwhile, the poll also discovered confidence has grown since the scheme launched last week (Monday 3 August) with 70.3% showing levels of confidence about the future of their business.

This is compared to the previous week’s poll when 64% of operators showed levels of confidence in the poll.

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