Eat Out to Help Out: More than 35 million meals served under Rishi Sunak’s discount scheme in first two weeks
In the first six days of the scheme more than 35 million meals were claimed under the scheme (PA)
New figures show that more than 35 million meals have been served under Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in its first two weeks.
The Treasury revealed 48,000 claims have been submitted by some of the 85,000 cafes, pubs and restaurants who have signed up to the policy.
It gives diners 50% off their food and non-alcoholic drinks, up the value of £10 per person, when they eat out between Monday and Wednesday, with the Government paying the other half.
The scheme is the flagship part of Mr Sunak's ‘Plan for Jobs’ to help the hospitality sector, which has been one of the hardest hit by coronavirus.
He said: “Today’s figures show that Britain is eating out to help out – with at least 35 million meals served up in the first two weeks alone, that is equivalent to over half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector.
“To build back better we must protect as many jobs as possible, that is why I am urging all registered businesses to make the most of this by claiming back today – it’s free, simple and pays out within 5 working days.”
And the data comes days after online booking firm OpenTable said restaurants have been on average 27% fuller than they were during the same period in August 2019.
As well as high-street chains such as Wahaca, Joe and the Juice and Pho registering for the scheme, thousands of small businesses have also signed up, including Indian street food venues Bundobust, which has branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.
Its co-founder, Marko Husak, said: "The response to Eat Out to Help Out has been phenomenal.
"Even though venues are operating at reduced capacity and with smaller teams following more thorough safety measures, we’re still managing to serve a similar number of customers on Mondays to Wednesdays that we were this time last year.”