Half price midweek dining was such a success in August that many restaurants extended their Help Out to Eat Out offer into September, and now lots are following on into October.
The Government’s scheme in August saw huge swathes of the UK's top restaurants inundated with guests between Monday and Wednesday, with diners keen to take advantage of half price dining. With the support officially having come to an end a couple of months back, many of us will be missing the freedom of eating out safe in the knowledge the bill wouldn’t break the bank. Thankfully, lots restaurants have taken it upon themselves to indulge diners’ newfound enthusiasm for Monday-Wednesday dining by extending the Eat Out to Help Out offer into October.
While restaurants are under no obligation to provide the same level of discount as the official scheme required, many are following a similar blueprint with £10 off per diner. Others have decided to work out their own best practice, offering special menus, discounted drinks or free additions depending on what their diners seem to enjoy the most.
As with the official scheme there is typically not much you - as a diner - need to do in order to claim an Eat Out to Help Out October offer – simply turn up and tuck in, in most cases. Despite the majority keeping things simple, it’s always worth checking, as some restaurants require you to book ahead and quote the deal at the time of reservation, while others will be operating a voucher scheme. As there is no set standard, this is very much a flexible thing where each eatery will work out what’s best for them, their guests and their restaurant. We’ve seen so many restaurants in London offering October Eat Out to Help Out offers we’re pretty confident that you’ll be able to find the perfect place for you – and if it’s not on the list below you could always give your local a call and ask what deals they’re offering this month. With so many in the hospitality industry keen to get back to normal, lots of big names as well as smaller restaurants will be doing what they can to encourage diners back into their establishments.
So, if you’re ready to book an Eat Out to Help Out offer in October, have a look at our top picks of London restaurants below. Each link will take you through to the restaurant’s listing so you can read our independent and honest review before securing your table.
Eat Out to Help Out October offers
Judging by the waiting lists at some of the coolest restaurants in London for tables on a Monday-Wednesday in August, we think it’s safe to say that for the most part the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme seems to have been a success. Seeing some of our favourite places packed out with people has lifted our spirits and seems to have had a positive impact on lots of business – both big and small – across the UK. In fact, some restaurants enjoyed the footfall in the first half of the week so much that they decided to keep up the Eat Out to Help Out offer into September and now October. As the government’s help officially ended at the end of August, Help Out to Eat Out in October will have to be supplemented by the restaurants themselves. From high-end restaurants to more casual joints, here are the places offering October Help Out to Eat Out offers.
• Hotstone, Angel
• Sagardi, Shoreditch
• Burger and Lobster, Soho
• Smokestak, Shoreditch
• Hot Stone, Angel
• Aquavit, Picadilly
• Benares, Mayfair
• Kricket, Soho
• Inamo, Covent Garden
• Darwin Brasserie at the Sky Garden, The City
• Fenchurch Restaurant at the Sky Garden, The City
• Duck and Rice, Soho
• Hicce, King's Cross
• Jose, Bermondsey
• Arabica, Borough and King’s Cross
• Heliot Steak house, Leicester Square
• Casa do Frango, London Bridge and Shoreditch
• Emilia's Crafted Pasta - Aldgate and St. Katherine Docks
• Zuaya, High Street Kensington
• Kahani, Kensington
• Bella Cosa, Canary Wharf
• Orient London, China Town
• Double Standard at The Standard, King's Cross
• Flesh & Buns, Fitzrovia and Covent Garden
• Shack-Fuyu, Soho
• Kanishka, Mayfair
• Paladar, Elephant & Castle
• Naamaste Kitchen, Camden
While all of the above are offering Eat Out to Help Out offers in October, the discounts may vary from restaurant to restaurant, so it's best to check ahead if you'd like to make sure of the deal you'll be getting before you book in.
When did the 'eat out to help out' scheme start and end?
The eat out to help out initiative went live from the 3rd of August and officially ran until the end of the month, giving diners up to £10 off each meal, or 50% off their total bill - whichever was a greater saving.
Back in July Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced this new government-backed scheme to help encourage diners to eat out again in restaurants following lockdown.
The offer entitled diners to 50% off UK restaurant menus from Monday – Wednesday throughout August, with a value of up to £10 per person. As any avid user now knows, the discount was automatically applied, so diners didn't have to do anything at all except pick their favourite thing from the menu, and sit back safe in the knowledge that it was going to come in a whole lot cheaper than they were expecting.
The half of the bill not paid by the customer was then covered by the government, in a move which the government hoped will help to speed up the recovery of the struggling hospitality industry.
The announcement came as part of one of Sunak’s statements to parliament, which also saw VAT temporarily being cut from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors.
The Chancellor said: “‘To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them, I can announce today that for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an 'eat out to help out' discount."
“Meals eaten at any participating business will be 50% off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children. We can all eat out to help out.”
How to claim the 'eat out to help out' deal
As a consumer, in order to claim the government’s discount, there was nothing you really needed to do other than turn up. The discount was automatically added to your bill if you're dining in a participating restaurant during the conditional timings. The gov.uk website had a postcode checker which allowed you to see a list of all participating restaurants within two miles of your location.
Businesses serving food simply had to register before the start of August to benefit from the scheme. Customers then had the discount automatically applied to their bill and then within five working days the money will be reimbursed directly into the bank account of the restaurant. This meant that a family of four could save up to £40 on a meal out, with that £40 being paid for by the government rather than the restaurant itself.
Could you use the 'Eat Out to Help Out' discount on the August Bank Holiday Monday?
Everyone looks forward to Bank Holidays, which for most people means a day off work and a chance to catch up with friends or family. Bargain hunters were keen to use the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme for the August Bank Holiday, but were cautious because typically special deals or set menus don’t apply on Bank Holidays.
We’re happy to report though that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme did include the Bank Holiday, which meant you could take advantage of the £10 off discount - result! The Bank Holiday took place on 31 August and was also the last day of the scheme.
Which restaurants offered the 'eat out to help out' discount in August?
Anywhere which serves food was able to sign up for the scheme, meaning that pubs, restaurants and even places like bars and work canteens were set to benefit. However, the discount was not applicable for takeaway and delivery. Each of the eateries involved had to have been Food Standards Agency approved. Below is a quick reference on a few of the big names signed up to the scheme in August, but for the full list we rounded up all the Eat Out to Help Out restaurants in one handy place.
• All Bar One
• Pizza Hut
• Pret a Manger
• Frankie & Benny’s
Not ready to venture out to a restaurant yet? Here are some London restuarants offering takeaway and delivery.