Three quarters of Brits want EOTHO extended

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government initiative: the scheme started on 3 August
Government initiative: the scheme started on 3 August

Related tags Food Soft drinks Government

Some 77% of people who have used the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme would support an extension across September, new YouGov research has found.

The survey of 1,629 UK adults aged 18 to over 65 between Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 August found just 14% would oppose the suggestion.

The Morning Advertiser​’s sister title MCA ​reported the research also discovered of those who ate out during the scheme period, more than one in three (36%) will dine out less than they did before once Eat Out to Help Out ends on 31 August.

It also stated almost half (46%) will eat out about the same amount and just 4% will more than they did before with 7% saying they will not dine out at all.

The research stated 17% had used the scheme once, one in 10 twice and 8% had used it three times across August.

Need to extend

YouGov research manager Matt Smith said: “As the scheme draws to a close, many businesses will be wondering if the high number of bookings they’ve enjoyed will continue after August.

“Many businesses have been vocal about the need to extend the scheme to the whole of September.

“Currently support for an extension stands at six in 10 Brits, rising to more than three quarters for those who have used the scheme. Even those who have not used the scheme support the extension by 43% to 28%.”

This comes after trade bodies urged the Government to extend the Eat Out to Help Out scheme​ to help the industry as it heads towards winter trading.

UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls labelled the scheme a “lifesafer” for the industry as she appeared on BBC Breakfast ​​this week (Monday 24 August) with Duck and Waffle executive chef Elliott Grover at the central London venue.

She said: “Boosting confidence, boosting footfall has been the most significant thing this scheme has done.

“Over the course of the three to four weeks so far, we’ve seen two in five of those who have come back out have been first-time users and 70% have said it was the scheme, which has brought them out, they needed it to build their confidence and now they feel they can return, not just to restaurants, pubs and bars but also the high street and they are more comfortable about returning on public transport too, which is critical for getting the economy moving.”

Incredibly helpful

She added: “In July, when we got our reopening date, a third did reopen so this scheme has been really significant in getting us from about half of our premises open to two thirds but there is still that third – lots of them in city centres and town centres where the footfall is lower, confidence is lower – that are still yet to open and that still means there are 1m of our teams still in furlough.”

Nicholls said an extension to the scheme would be “incredibly helpful for the sector” as the weather turns cold and outside areas cannot be used.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin outlined how helpful the scheme has been so far and urged for more support for wet-led pubs.

She said: “The Government should definitely repeat the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. It has provided a much-needed boost to sales in the early week for some of our sector as it tries to recover.

“That boost to the pub and wider hospitality sector – amongst the largest employers in the UK – is much needed and will help secure jobs and build consumer confidence. 

“Repeating the scheme, particularly as we approach quieter months for trade, would be a significant help."

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