Feeling brave enough to go to a restaurant yet? Well, if you are, then August will have some great bargains for you. Take a look at what the government’s Eat Out To Help Out Scheme offers, where you can eat and how much you can save.
I’m sure nobody is surprised to hear that the economy has taken a bit of a battering since the start of lockdown. And unfortunately, it’s true when Liza Minelli said (or actually sung) “money makes the world go around”.
So, the U.K. government has introduced some new measures to encourage us to spend and kick start the economy. And one of the most publicised is the Eat Out To Help Out scheme.
What is Eat Out To Help Out?
The scheme was revealed by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in early July. The idea is that customers will receive a 50% discount on their food and (non-alcoholic) drinks bill up to a maximum of £10 each. The establishment will then claim the discount back from the government.
There is no minimum amount you need to spend and no limit to the number of people in your party.
When does it begin?
The incentive starts on the 3rd of August 2020 and is available for the whole month on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Which restaurants are participating in Eat Out To Help Out?
Establishments will need to apply to be included in the scheme. They include:
- restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs
- work and school canteens
- food halls
In total, there are over 130,000 eligible organisations who could make use of the scheme. I would love to list them all, but I will just stick to the bigger providers who have confirmed their participation:
- All Bar One
- Bella Italia
- Burger King
- Cafe Rouge
- Caffe Concerto
- Castle Pubs
- Ember Inns
- Five Guys
- Frankie and Benny’s
- JD Wetherspoon
- Las Iguanas
- Miller and Carter
- Oak Tree
- Orchid Pubs
- Pizza Hut
- Premium Country Pubs
- Pret A Manger
- Sizzling Pubs
- Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery
- Toby Carvery
- Vintage Inns
There is a also handy tool that will allow you to search for participating restaurants.
How do I claim the discount?
There is nothing you need to do. The discount will automatically be deducted from your bill.
Does it work with other discounts?
Participating restaurants should also honour any other discounts that you may qualify for – although that is down to them. So if you hold a Taste Card, this could be an extra 50% off. NHS staff also receive 25% off at Nandos as well as a selection of other restaurants. And don’t forget, plenty of fast-food restaurants also offer discounts through their apps – a list can be found here.
And don’t forget that the hospitality sector currently only charge 5% VAT (reduced from 20%), so food is already reduced.
Is it only for dining in?
Technically, the Eat Out To Help Out scheme is only available to people eating inside a restaurant. However, what happens if you’ve ordered and paid for your food, but you get called away for an emergency? Well, there’s nothing stopping you from taking the food home… as long as you don’t take plates and cutlery.
For full details of Eat Out To Help Out, take a look at the official government page.
Now, I don’t generally like to share my opinions about politics. Everybody has their view and it seems to cause endless arguments. But…
The government has received a fair amount of backlash over the last few months due to some of their messages being unclear. But the communication above seems quite clear – go out and spend money in restaurants, mainly on unhealthy food.
However, I just came across this article that suggested the government was moving towards banning television ads for junk food to tackle the obesity problem in the U.K. Yet, they’ve just introduced the biggest discounts we’ve ever seen. Strange…