Businesses urged to claim discounts under Eat Out to Help Out scheme ahead of September deadline

Businesses who registered with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme have been urged to claim back the 50 per cent government-funded discount applied to bills ahead of the September deadline.

The reminder comes after official statistics revealed that more than 100 million meals have been claimed under the landmark initiative.

The scheme, which ran throughout the month of August, was intended to support the hospitality and tourism sector after eight in 10 local restaurants, cafes and pubs were forced to stop trading to prevent the spread of Covid-19, resulting in 1.4 million furloughed workers.

Under the rules, customers who visited participating businesses on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays would receive a 50 per cent discount on eat-in food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to the maximum value of £10 per person. The restaurant, bar or pub could then claim back the discount, providing it has records of the total number of diners who used the scheme, the total amount of discount given, and the period claimed for.

However, eligible businesses only have until the end of September 2020 to claim back the discount.

According to the official figures, more than 100 million discounted meals across 84,700 establishments were served last month, worth approximately £522 million to the hospitality industry.

Commenting on the figures, Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive at UK Hospitality, said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme has been a great success for hospitality. Our members have reported very strong bookings throughout August at a time when the sector really needed a boost.

“It has helped provide a lift in consumer confidence which is going to be key for hospitality businesses as they look to reopen and help rebuild the economy. The scheme has provided a timely boost in trade which will have helped many businesses safeguard jobs all around the UK.”

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