Customers at KFC and Pret A Manger have complained that staff do not understand the government’s Eat Out To Help Out program.
Some angry customers said a manager claimed the Monday-Wednesday discount only applied in the afternoon, while some staff imposed a minimum spend of £ 10 or asked to see a voucher .
It comes as thousands of diners have made the most of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plan to cut food prices for diners in half throughout August.
Over 72,000 sites are now offering a 50% discount, up to £ 10 per person.
But fast food chicken restaurant KFC and sandwich chain Pret have since come under fire for allegedly misinterpreting the rules.
Pret A Manger and KFC dinners in the UK have complained that the two popular chains appear to have misinterpreted the rules. Pictured, KFC in Ipswich
Government guidelines say the reduction must be applied all day Monday through Wednesday throughout August with no minimum spending requirement.
But some customers have been told that the program is not yet in effect at KFC restaurants.
One of them wrote: “Hello @KFC_UKI I had a boneless feast today but I was told the catering program to help is not valid today. Bcos kfc did not have a license yet? Your Twitter account says throughout August… ‘
Another said: “You are advertising Whitstable to be part of the Eat out to help out program, but it is not offered in stores. “
One said, “I ordered food from the Bexhill on Sea branch for dinner today and was charged full price. Staff said the website was incorrect and you were not participating in Eat Out to Help Out… is that correct? I can DM details.
Government guidelines say the reduction must be applied all day Monday through Wednesday throughout August with no minimum spending requirement. Pictured are customers’ social distancing as they line up for a Pret A Manger in London on May 4
“Can you tell us why you are showing the Altrincham Business Park participating in the Restoration Program to help when you show up, you are told they haven’t registered with the government so don’t.” No sign to indicate otherwise and announced online, ”said another.
One of them said: “Very disappointed. I went to your Bristol branch, Avonmeads Retail Park yesterday with 3 colleagues. But your staff told us they weren’t doing the Eat Out to Help Out program, but your website says different but they wouldn’t honor it.
Another claimed that a restaurant had closed its seating area to prevent people from taking advantage of the program.
They wrote, “Eat to help. Meet at your ilford branch at 10:15 pm and they have closed the dining room and do not allow us to eat so we cannot help you! #disappinting #dontneedhelp ‘
Some said the branch they bought a meal from had a minimum spend of £ 10.
They said, “Disappointed with your position on the Eat Out to Help Out program. It seems you are taking advantage of government and customers with your minimum spend policy.
Another added: ‘£ 10 minimum spend on the Eat Out To Help out program? Dissolution.
The rules for the Eat Out To Help Out program have been posted. They expressly prohibit spending a minimum of £ 10
Another said staff told her KFC had withdrawn from the program. She said: “Just been at the Tunbridge Wells store, ordered, paid, pointed out they forgot to apply the ‘eat out’ discount, only to be told KFC had withdrawn around 600 branches.
“Amazed that no one was told apart from the staff and complaining customers. “
Pret customers have faced similar problems. It was said that the 50 percent reduction only applied in the afternoon.
They wrote: ‘Bad start @Pret Finchley Road. The staff don’t know anything about Eat Out to Help Out except the manager who says he only does it in the afternoon. Three customers paying full price. No, the government says that if you participate in the program, you must offer it all day. Naughty. ‘
A spokesperson for KFC said the popular chain was offering a 50% reduction “across the board, up to £ 10 per person with no minimum spend”.
Some angry customers have taken to Twitter to complain. They said an official had claimed the Monday-Wednesday discount only applied in the afternoon, while some staff imposed a minimum spend of £ 10 or asked to see a voucher.
“In keeping with the government’s intentions for the program, it is available on food ordered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August,” they added.
“We currently have 580 participating restaurants, which you can find on our website. For those who are worried about missing something, we’re adding even more over the next few days to bring this to around 700 of our restaurants.
A spokesperson for Pret said the coffee chain “is working hard to ensure it is properly implemented in all eligible stores.”
“We review the program rollout every day and make sure that all team members understand how it works.
“If customers have any problems, please contact our customer service and we will resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Elsewhere, the program was hailed as a success as customers were able to take advantage of the cash on meals at their favorite restaurants.
Pret customers have faced similar problems. It was said that the 50% reduction only applied in the afternoon
The aim of the £ 500million firm is to boost footfall in the revenue-starving restaurants which were forced to close during the lockdown and to revive the economic recovery.
London’s vibrant West End has been filled with diners sitting al fresco at socially distant tables on the road while eating and drinking – although the government does not cover the cost of alcohol.
He followed huge queues throughout the day outside participating restaurants, which can be spotted by a helpful government search tool.
Conservators have lined up to praise the program after they burned funds during the three-month lockdown.
Mark Selby, managing director and co-founder of the Mexican chain Wahaca, hailed the “adrenaline rush” for the restaurant industry.
“He’s certainly not returning to pre-Covid levels, but he’s definitely looking for the last two weeks we’ve seen,” he told Sky News.
Will Beckett, co-founder of the Hawksmoor steakhouse group, said his London restaurants were full on supply days and had to open another.
He told the Evening Standard: “We had 15,000 reservations for the 13 days. We weren’t planning on opening Air Street [near Piccadilly Circus] Mondays and Tuesdays, but we changed our mind and now we have 300 covers per night booked.