Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a new government-backed scheme to help encourage diners to eat out again in restaurants following lockdown.
The offer will be implemented through a voucher scheme, which will entitle diners to 50% off UK restaurant menus from Monday – Wednesday throughout August, with a value of up to £10 per person.
The half of the bill not paid by the customer will then be covered by the government, in a move which the government hopes will help to speed up the recovery of the struggling hospitality industry.
The announcement comes as part of Sunak’s latest statement 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.”
When does the 'eat out to help out' scheme start?
The eat out to help out initiative will be live from the 3rd of August and run until the end of the month, giving diners up to £10 off each meal, or 50% off their total bill - whichever is a greater saving.
How to claim the 'eat out to help out' deal
As a consumer, in order to claim the government’s discount, tthere's nothing you really need to do other than turn up. The discount should be automatically added to your bill if you're dining in a participating restaurant during the conditional timings. The gov.uk website has a postcode checker which allows 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 will then have 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 means 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.
Which restaurants will be offering the 'eat out to help out' discount?
Anywhere which serves food can sign up for the scheme, meaning that pubs, restaurants and even places like bars and work canteens will benefit. However, the discount will not be applicable for takeaway and delivery. Each of the eateries will have to to be Food Standards Agency approved. Below is a quick reference on a few of the big names signed up to the scheme, but for the full list we've 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.