Diners used the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme 10.5 million times in its first week
The first week of the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme has seen the government pay over £53 million towards 10.5 million meals.
Under the initiative, which is intended to boost the fortunes of the pubs, cafes and restaurants hit by the coronavirus lockdown, customers can claim up to 50% off bills at participating establishments up to a maximum of £10 each.
Official statistics show that 22,000 business have made claims so far out of a total of 83,000 that are registered to do so, suggesting more claims are in the pipeline.
Launched – or perhaps ‘lunched’ – on 3 August, the scheme runs throughout the month, finishing on Bank Holiday Monday. The government has reserved £500 million to fund the activity.
Among the businesses participating are numerous local eateries alongside chains such as KFC, Nando’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Express and Costa Coffee. Meals must be eaten on the premises – so takeaways are not included. Alcoholic drinks also fall outside the scheme.
The official restaurant finder uses postcodes to locate participating eateries in any given area. There is no limit to the number of times a person can obtain the discount.
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Diners simply ask for their bill to be reduced, and the establishment claims the money direct from the government, receiving payment within five working days.
The discount can be used for children’s meals and is capped at £10 per head. It is only available Monday to Wednesday inclusive throughout August.
Under the scheme, a party of three would get £30 off a bill of £70 (£10 each), thus paying £40.
If the bill were £40 for three diners, they would save £20 – the maximum 50% discount on their bill.