Eating Out: How Much Is It Helping Out?

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme ends very soon!

The scheme, which allows diners up to 50% off on food and drink in participating food establishments, was designed to boost the struggling hospitality industry.

And it looks like it has been working!

Reports suggest that over 35 million meals were ordered under the scheme in the first two week, and it has only grown in popularity since then.

The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme

The UK wide promotion is available throughout August on Mondays-Wednesdays all day. 

The discount is for food and soft drinks that are consumed in the premises. It can be used as many times as you like, and there are no limits on the amount of people who can use it.

But with the scheme winding down on August 31st, we are interested to see whether eating out is really helping out businesses….

Helping Out People?

To start with, the rise in people eating out hasn’t caused a dramatic COVID spike across the UK, which is good news!

Although areas have gone into local lockdown, it’s not thought to be due to the eat out to help out scheme, rather – due to multiple households being in close proximity with one another inside homes.

Bars, restaurants and fast food outlets have been required to meet COVID safety standards, and this will have gone a long way in keeping the infection rate down.

Helping Out Businesses?

The news that COVID rates haven’t spiked after reopening restaurants and food establishments will be music to business owners’ ears!

It looks as though they have a green light to keep on opening their doors and inviting customers in for the foreseeable future.

But how has the scheme helped get people through the doors?

According to OpenTable, their reports show that when Pubs and restaurants started reopening on July 4th, bookings were around 60% lower than what they were in 2019.

At the end of July this number rose to 25% lower than in 2019.

Which means that when the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme was announced in August, the average food establishment had around 25% less footfall, than the previous year.

As we mentioned above, over 35 million people took advantage of the scheme in the first two weeks alone, so it looks as though the eat out to help out scheme will have gone a long way to bring that percentage back in line with 2019’s figures.

Long Term Help

However, to say that business was 25% less than in 2019 is a slight understatement.

It’s important to remember that many restaurants suffered then, and are still suffering now after 4 months of closure earlier in the year.

The eat out to help out scheme only brings things back to normality for one month, and it by no means acts as ‘long term help’.

The big decision on whether the scheme has been a success will be whether there is increased support from the public moving forward until the end of 2020, in contrast to the previous year.


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