More than 64 million meals have been enjoyed by diners across the country since the launch of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.
A total of 87,000 claims have been made by many of the signed-up businesses, as people ‘back hospitality’ and take advantage of the Monday to Wednesday deal created by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
As the scheme draws to a close on Monday 31 August, new data from OpenTable shows that during Eat Out to Help Out’s third week, the number of customers at UK restaurants over the year-day window was 61% higher than the same period last year.
The average level across Monday to Wednesday in the first and second week were 12% and 41% respectively.
A total of 35 million meals were enjoyed in the second week of the scheme.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality – with more than 64 million meals discounted so far, that’s equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs.
“This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly 2 million people who work in hospitality.
“I am urging everyone, where they can, to continue to safely enjoy a meal while the scheme remains open.”
There are now 84,000 sign-ups from restaurants for the scheme.
David Page, Chairman of Fulham Shore (Franco Manca/The Real Greek) said: “Eat Out to Help Out immediately increased our restaurant customer numbers by over 50%, thus enabling us to get all our staff back to work. In fact, we are now creating new jobs by hiring and training more people as fast as we can!”
Andy Laurillard, CEO, Giggling Squid said: “As a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme we have managed to avoid making any redundancies and we no longer have any of our 950 staff on furlough.”
The scheme applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks with participating establishments deducting 50% from the bill, up to a maximum discount per person of £10.
The scheme is one part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, announced last month. Other measures announced to protect, support and create jobs include cutting VAT for tourism and hospitality by 15%, a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme and an £8.8 billion investment in new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.