Restaurants withdraw from Eat Out To Help Out scheme after abuse from 'rude' customers

Increased demand due to the scheme has led to impatience among customers

Updated on 19 August 2020 • Written By Henry Coldstream

Restaurants withdraw from Eat Out To Help Out scheme after abuse from 'rude' customers

A number of restaurants have stopped using the Government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme after owners started to see an increased level of rudeness and impatience from customers.

The scheme, which offers diners 50% off food and soft drinks up to a maximum of £10, has seen the British rush to participating restaurants to take advantage of the discount, available Monday-Wednesday. This influx of bookings has given a huge boost to many businesses during this fragile period for the industry.

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However, for some the scheme appears to have been less of a help and more of a hindrance. With customers tending to order more food due to its lower price, waiting times have increased at some restaurants in order to keep up with the demand. It appears that a number of 'rude' and 'entitled' diners are not happy with this, and are taking it out on the staff, leading to some restaurants scrapping the scheme all together.

Kelly Hill, who owns the the Tavern Inn in Newquay, decided to pull out of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme after she found it brought "nothing but negativity due to the huge demand".

She told the BBC: "People are ordering big, big meals; they are not willing to wait for their food; our staff are being shouted at for having no tables, or for the service being slow. It’s put an awful lot of strain on our waiting staff and kitchen staff."

Meanwhile, landlady of The Westleigh Inn near Bideford, Steph Dyer, has also withdrawn from the scheme after seeing her staff being put under too much mental and physical stress. She said: "The idea is brilliant, but just not in August. Do it in October. Everybody I have spoken to is finding it difficult to maintain standards of service."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that the scheme has been used over 35,000,000 times in its first two weeks, which equates to half of the UK population taking part.

No-shows have also been causing all sorts of problems for restaurants since they reopened. Check out what chefs, including Tom Kerridge, have said about the issue.