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Over 64 million meals claimed for as Eat Out to Help Out enters fourth week

More than 64 million meals have been enjoyed by diners across the country since the launch of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.

  • new figures today show that restaurants have claimed for more than 64 million discounted meals as Eat Out to Help Out enters its fourth week
  • upward trend in meals claimed for shows millions continue to flock to eat out to support 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector – which has been hit hard by coronavirus
  • 87,000 claims have been made by restaurants taking part in the scheme

This continues the upward trend in the scheme’s popularity, with 10.5 million meals claimed for in the first week, growing to a total of 35 million meals in the second.

Data from OpenTable shows that during Eat Out to Help Out’s third week the number of customers at UK restaurants was 61% higher than the same days last year on average for Monday to Wednesday. The average level across Monday to Wednesday in the first and second week were 12% and 41% respectively.

The data also shows that the number of customers at UK restaurants was up 17% compared to the same week in 2019.

A total of 87,000 claims have been made by many of the signed-up businesses and there have been over 34 million searches on Eat Out to Help Out’s restaurant finder from 13 million unique users.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

Today’s figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality – with more than 64 million meals discounted so far, that’s equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs.

This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly 2 million people who work in hospitality.

I am urging everyone, where they can, to continue to safely enjoy a meal while the scheme remains open.

There are now 84,000 sign-ups from restaurants for the scheme, which closes on 31 August.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme aims to help protect the jobs of the hospitality industry’s 1.8 million employees by encouraging people to safely return to their local restaurants, cafes and pubs where social-distancing rules allow.

Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed, the highest of any sector.

David Page, Chairman of Fulham Shore (Franco Manca/The Real Greek) said:

The Government’s furlough scheme underpinned our effort to save as many jobs as possible at Franco Manca and The Real Greek.

This innovative policy was then followed by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Eat Out to Help Out immediately increased our restaurant customer numbers by over 50%, thus enabling us to get all our staff back to work. In fact, we are now creating new jobs by hiring and training more people as fast as we can!

Andy Laurillard, CEO, Giggling Squid said:

Rishi’s dishes have been a massive hit with customers and our staff. The tremendous success of the August scheme, combined with the temporary VAT reduction and fantastic support from our landlord community have made the difference between failure and survival of our business.

As a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme we have managed to avoid making any redundancies and we no longer have any of our 950 staff on furlough.

The scheme applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks with participating establishments deducting 50% from the bill, up to a maximum discount per person of £10. It could save a family of four up to £40 per meal.

Businesses have become Covid-secure through, for example, protective screens, contactless payments, social distancing, one way walking systems, online bookings and reduced capacity.

The scheme is one part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, announced last month. Other measures announced to protect, support and create jobs include cutting VAT for tourism and hospitality by 15%, a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and an £8.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

This support for the hospitality sector comes on top of the government’s unprecedented assistance for all businesses including through grants, tax deferrals, scrapping business rates, the furlough and self-employed support schemes and government-backed loans.

Further information

  • 64 million is not the total number of meals benefitting from the discount, as some businesses may not have claimed back yet
  • Claim back on the scheme
  • Latest statistics for Eat Out to Help Out – including value of claims so far and number of restaurants registered
  • Find a restaurant that’s registered for the scheme
  • Guidance: Get a discount with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
  • More information on the Plan for Jobs here 
  • For OpenTable data see here
  • The scheme is open 25,26 and 31 August 2020.
  • There is no cut-off date for registration - businesses can register for the scheme up until and including 31 August 2020.
  • The Chancellor has visited a number of eateries that have benefitted from Eat Out to Help out – images available on our Flickr.
  • There is no minimum spend and the discount can be used at the same time as other offers and discounts. The maximum discount per person is £10. All diners in a group of any size will qualify for the automatic discount. 8% of the UK’s workforce – over 2.4 million people – rely on hospitality, accommodation and attractions for employment. Of this, food and beverage services (pubs, restaurants, cafes etc) account for 1.8 million jobs. 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and 1.4 million hospitality workers have been furloughed – the highest proportions of any sector. ONS Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results, BICS Wave 3: 6 April to 19 April 2020, HMRC, Statistical Bulletin, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Official Statistics – 11 June 2020 Release, Resolution Foundation: the full Monty
  • Evidence from 2008 suggests that the hospitality sector could be a key contributor to the jobs recovery post-Covid. It generated 22 per cent of new jobs for unemployed people in 2010 and 2011, according to the Resolution Foundation, despite accounting for just 10 per cent of overall employment. [Getting Britain working Safely again, 2020]. The sector employs more women than men, 56% and 44% respectively. [ONS Labour Force Survey, June 2020, Graduates in the UK Labour market, 2017
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