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How will the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme work?

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a groundbreaking plan for the government to subsidise people’s meals out in restaurants on Wednesday (8 July).

Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme:

What is ‘Eat Out to Help Out’?

‘Eat Out to Help Out’ is a new scheme offering people 50% off the price of their meals, up to a maximum of £10 per head, in participating restaurants.

Diners at participating restaurants will get £10 per head discount, including children. Each person must be eating and drinking to qualify for the discount.

The scheme, run by the government, will run for the entire month of August, every Monday to Wednesday. It begins on 3 August.

Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson visits Pizza Pilgrims in West India Quay, London Docklands. Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley/AFP via Getty
Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson visits Pizza Pilgrims in West India Quay, London Docklands. Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley/AFP via Getty

What’s included?

All food and any non-alcoholic drinks will be covered by the offer. Alcoholic drinks are not covered, nor are service charge or tips.

The offer only applies to sit down meals, not takeaways. Private catering and hotel room service is also not included.

How will it work?

Restaurants must register with the government to take part in the scheme. Once approved, they can claim back the discount offered to diners each week.

Any establishment that serves hot food can take part, such as a restaurant, cafe, pub, or bar.

It is not yet clear how exactly the discount will be presented to the customer, but is likely many restaurants will chose to apply it at the tills on the relevant days.

What restaurants are taking part?

The scheme was only announced on Wednesday and took the industry by surprise, so it is not clear who will take part yet. Registration only opens on 13 July.

The government estimates 130,000 businesses will be eligible to take part in the scheme. It expects to spend £500m ($632m) on the scheme, or equivalent to subsidising 50 million meals.

Restaurants will likely signal to consumers they are taking part in the scheme through signs, advertisements, and on social media.

What do consumers need to do?

Consumers don’t need to do anything to take advantage of the scheme, just make sure they are dining at a participating restaurant on the right day.

There is no limit to the number of times a customer can use the offer during the duration of the scheme.