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The Treasury said it had been sent 10,540,394 claims for individual meals from restaurants as part of the Eat Out to Help Out programme.
The policy gives diners 50% off their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per person, which is covered by the government.
“After reducing our opening hours to a four day week with 25% less seats, EOHO has given us the opportunity to return to a five day operation once again. By giving consumers this incentive to come out and get a deal this builds confidence whilst giving a financial boost to the business. I think if you look at the amount of interest this has generated if we had the team we could open 7 days if we could.”
If two people eat out together, they count as two individual meals in the statistics.
It means that a maximum of £105.4 million can have been claimed in the first week of the scheme, which runs on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.
Paul continues: “However with the combination of VAT reduction for the industry and the EOHO scheme we have a fighting chance of getting some level of normality back as we continue the recovery. Thank you Rishi this has helped protect my Business and the jobs of my Brigade”
The Treasury has put aside £500 million to pay for the programme.
The around 83,000 restaurants that have signed up to the Eat Out scheme so far take off 50% of a customer’s bill at the till and are reimbursed by the Treasury.
“We opened Bacaro in July and the level of trade and the boost of the first week of EOTHO gave us the confidence to open our other two restaurants, Salthouse Tapas and Hanover Street Social. This has so far proved a good decision with not only a great start but strong bookings throughout the weeks ahead, it does seem to have boosted people’s confidence to go out and enjoy the Summer”
The scheme will run for every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.
Food delivery is not included.
The Treasury did not say how much the receipts it had been sent were claiming back or how many meals are normally sold during the first three days of the week.
“EOHO, has been a massive success for all our sites. It has been a pleasure to let people know that their bills have been reduced, this was certainly a conversation that we had with many customers last week. The initiative has definitely added hope to us all. Our loyal customers really want to get back out, EOHO has drawn people out quicker, and help build confidence in the hospitality industry. We have always been experts in hygiene, cleanliness and food safety, so we have just listened, learnt and adapted to the government Covid guidelines.”
Figures out on Monday from Springboard and finance app Yolt seemed to suggest the number of people eating out had risen by around a fifth at the start of last week.
But Springboard said its measure, of the number of people visiting retail hotspots at dinner time, was around half of where it was this time last year.
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