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‘Eat out to help out’ scheme

What is the scheme?

On Wednesday 8 July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a range of new measures designed to support the hospitality industry during the recovery from Covid-19.  In his speech, the Chancellor offered the country discounts on meals out as part of his “eat out to help out” scheme to support the hospitality industry. So, how will it work, which businesses are eligible – and how much can your business make the most of the ‘Eat out to Help out’ scheme?

How will the scheme work?

The Chancellor stated that the scheme will be open for pubs, restaurants and cafes. Diners would receive 50% off their bill of up to £10 per head if they eat out on Monday to Wednesday in August. The discount will not apply to alcohol, but to food and soft drinks up to £10 per person. The Treasury said the 50% discount can be used unlimited times during August and applies to participating restaurants, cafés, and pubs across the UK.

Which businesses’ can use the scheme?

Any hospitality business that meets the following criteria can apply for the scheme:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

The scheme will not be open for:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers

How do businesses’ participate in the scheme?

The scheme starts on Monday August 3 and runs until Monday August 31.* Companies can start to register on the Government’s website from Monday, July 13. The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020.

*This means that everyone in Britain is entitled to discounts at restaurants over a total period of 13 days next month. 

To register, you must have:

  • your Government Gateway ID and password (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)

You may also need your:

  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable)
  • Corporation Tax or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

Register for the scheme here 


How do I promote the scheme for my Hospitality business?

The Government is producing a range of promotional materials to download to let your clients know your business is participating in the ‘Eat out to Help out’ scheme and encourage more diners to eat out with you.

All participating businesses will be published on a public list of the establishments taking part in the scheme. 

Get more information about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme here.

Unfortunately, the scheme has received welcome criticism from nightlife bosses and affected business owners that slam the scheme for ignoring the traditional pubs and ‘wet-led’ establishments that do not serve food. The Chancellor’s announcement also failed to address support for the industry with a VAT cut that specifically excludes beer or cider, leaving many pubs and independent brewers worried for their future. 

For a current list of the available financial support measures for businesses affected by Covid-19, please see the website here



Author pubexperts

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