Three quarters of operators not continuing discount scheme into autumn

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Price drop: various multiple operators have revealed they will be extending the discount into September
Price drop: various multiple operators have revealed they will be extending the discount into September

Related tags: Food, Soft drinks, Legislation, Government

Some 74% of hospitality operators will not be continuing an early week discount when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme ends this month (Monday 31 August), a study has found.

The Hospitality Leaders Poll from Lumina Intelligence also found that of the 234 operators asked, 52% said the Government discount incentive had not created an environment where customers expect reduced prices after August.

When asked if it had, a quarter (25%) said it would damage their business a lot, 47% said a little and 27% said not at all and it could be beneficial.

This comes after a number of operators announced they would be extending the offer throughout September​.

Latest figures

Star Pubs and Bars, Oakman Inns, Hall & Woodhouse and Arc Inspirations have all pledged to fund the continuation of discounts.

The Government-backed scheme, which officially wraps on 31 August, has allowed operators to offer customers a 50% discount – up to a maximum of £10 per person – all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday food and non-alcoholic drinks consumed on site since 3 August.

According to the Treasury’s latest figures, it has seen more than 64m meals​ claimed so far with three quarters (77%) of consumers supporting an extension throughout September according to YouGov​.

Following the success of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Heineken’s pub arm Star Pubs and Bars, has pledged an extra £250,000 to ensure that its 90 Just Add Talent managed sites can continue offering the same discount throughout September.

Zero tolerance

Almost half (47%) of the sector leaders said they have zero tolerance for operators not abiding by the guidelines with one in three (30%) saying they should be named and shamed.

In response to how much of an impact the VAT cut had on their business, those surveyed were split between no impact (34%), partial positive impact (33%) and substantial positive impact (32%).

Confidence over the past few weeks has been up and down with the latest poll showing the number of operators responding with levels of confidence down from last week’s 73% to 67%.

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