More than 35m meals claimed on Eat Out to Help Out

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Money back: Chancellor Rishi Sunak called on all hospitality businesses to ensure they have claimed the discount back
Money back: Chancellor Rishi Sunak called on all hospitality businesses to ensure they have claimed the discount back

Related tags: Food, Soft drinks, Legislation

Over 35m meals have been consumed during the first fortnight of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, the Treasury has revealed.

The research also found more than 85,000 venues have now registered for the scheme, resulting in more than 48,000 claims by the outlets.

This comes after statistics from OpenTable found that footfall to registered venues increased by almost a third (27%)​ versus the same period (Monday to Wednesday) in August 2019.

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.

Protecting jobs

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.

Discussing the latest statistics, Sunak said: “The figures show Britain is eating out to help out with at least 35m meals served up in the first two weeks alone – that is equivalent to more than half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector.

“To build back better, we must protect as many jobs as possible, which is why I am urging all registered businesses to make the most of this by claiming back – it’s free, simple and pays out within five working days.”

Highest furlough levels

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme aims to help protect 1.8m hospitality jobs by encouraging people to return to the on-trade where social distancing rules allow.

The Treasury estimated about 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4m workers furloughed – the highest of any sector.

New figures from the Treasury also found £35.47bn worth of Bounce Back Loans have been approved; £13.68bn worth of Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme loans have been approved; £3.5bn worth of Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme loans have been approved; and £588.3m worth of convertible loans through the Future Fund have been approved.

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