Updated: Aug 27, 2020
As of Monday 3rd August, the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme began and it shall be in place until the 31st of the month. But what does this mean? It’s a very simple incentive to encourage us to spend money and build the economy, by putting money into our beloved hospitality industry, which has taken a huge hit due to Covid-19. In essence, the government is going to pay for part of your dinner, to entice you from your takeaway night, into the restaurants again. Dinner’s on Rishi.
So how do I use this discount I hear you cry? You have to do very little, other than find a restaurant/cafe/cinema/petrol station near you, sit down, and enjoy yourself. The discount only applies to restaurants who have registered with the scheme, which includes chains and independents. The government website has a search engine for you to enter your postcode and find eateries within a 5 mile radius that are registered to the scheme, so that’s nice and easy. Do take into consideration that if your area goes into local lockdown, places may still be listed but probably won’t be open.
Now for the maths. Fear not, this is also super simple. The discount is 50% off each diner’s meal, at a maximum of £10 per diner. This only applies to food and nonalcoholic drinks, not take-outs, service charges or groovy juice. It is NOT 50% off your entire food and drink bill. It’s very important those working in hospitality get their wages at the moment! There is no minimum spend, so simply put, if your lunch is £30 you will only pay £20, as the maximum discount is £10pp. Essentially, you pay 50% of each item (up to £10 off) and the government will reimburse the establishments the rest, to support them through this tricky ol’ time.
The discount applies only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday, as these tend to be quieter days for hospitality. We all tend to schedule in little treats for the end of the week, but whilst we have no idea what day it is anymore, why not go out for lunch on a Monday! It’s rogue but Corona made you do it.
So who do we know that’s in the scheme? All your big names and chains like McDonald’s, Byron, Wagamama’s, Yo-Sushi! But also bars, pubs, work places, school canteens, cinemas and food halls- even petrol stations eateries! Many are signed up but also remember your wee independents! Your edgy coffee shop doesn’t have as much money behind it as Costa does, and they are the character of our Great British streets, so spend your discounted pennies wisely!
The discount applies as many times as you like, even when the eateries have additional discounts going on too! Do you need to bring anything? Nope. It is applied automatically to the bill. Easy breezy.
The UK economy saw a 2% drop at the beginning of lockdown and within that the restaurant
industry declined by 21.3%. Government support was needed for a whole hash of things- from rent to staff wages; so when you do eat out, arrive with kindness and consideration. If you can’t make a booking anymore, call to cancel as tables mean turnover for these establishments. If you’re unsure about the guidelines or process, call in advance- they’ll be happy to hear your intrigue. And stick to the rules! These guidelines exist so businesses can continue to function and you can enjoy your brunch with the chums again- all in the name of safety! Wash your hands, keep your distance and eat out to help out!
For more info about government guidelines around Covid-19, see here- https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus