Cost-of-Living Tsar and former Just Eat CEO David Buttress announced the scheme yesterday (Thursday 21 July).
London theatres and retailers such as Sainsburys, Amazon, and Asda are confirmed to be taking part, however, it is understood no other hospitality businesses have signed up to the scheme as of yet.
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Both the public and private sector have a role to play here – and that’s why it’s great to see so many leading UK businesses are now coming forward to offer new deals and discounts that will provide much needed respite at the checkout.
Fighting back against inflation
“This won’t solve the issue overnight but it’s yet another weapon in our arsenal as we fight back against scourge of rising prices and inflation.”
The campaign includes Asda’s ‘Kids eat for £1’ scheme, where children aged 16 and under can access a hot or cold meal for £1 at any time of day in Asda Cafes across the UK while theatres in London have united for Kids Week, an initiative offering children the chance to see a West End show for free throughout August with a full paying adult.
While it is unknown what benefits businesses will receive as part of the campaign, at the time of publication, no Government backing to support the discounts had been announced.
The initiative follows summer 2020’s Government funded Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which offered consumers a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks, up to a maximum of £10 discount per person, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August 2020.
Margins aren't there
However, with soaring costs across the board, some licensees feared the sector was not in a position to support such a scheme without Government backing.
Licensee of the Dog at Wingham, Canterbury, Marc Bridgen said: “Eat Out To Help Out was truly effective, but it was a big discount, and it could only work because the Government funded it.
“But the problem is, our margins aren't there at the moment. I don't think we can fund it to that degree again.
“The better way to do it would be for the Government to do some promotion, like Eat Out To Help Out, but maybe not be so generous in the funding. Then between us we'll make it a huge success.”