The government’s August restaurant rebate program was used 64 million times in three weeks, new Treasury figures show. Eat Out to Help Out, which offers dining enthusiasts 50 percent off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to £ 10 at participating venues, was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help revive the hospitality industry, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown.
It brings the total amount claimed by the 84,000 restaurants involved across the UK to £ 336million, an increase from the second week which saw the total raised by 85,000 restaurants to £ 180million. After the first week of the program, 83,000 participating sites have claimed £ 53.7million. The average restaurant claim is £ 5.25 per coverage. The government has said it has allocated £ 500million to fund the program, which will end next Monday, August 31.
“Today’s figures continue to show the British support hospitality – with over 64 million discounted meals so far, that equates to almost every person in the country dining out to protect his job, ”said Rishi Sunak, after describing the demand as“ unbelievable ”. “This program reminded us how much we love to dine out.” Sunak, who believes the recovery of the hospitality industry is key to the country’s overall economic recovery, said the program is helping protect the jobs of nearly two million people working in restaurants, pubs and cafes UK.
Although slated to end at the end of the month, Kate Nicholls, the patron saint of hotels, said the success of the program in increasing footfall and boosting restaurant trade warrants its extension until September. . Indeed, amid fears that the custom will end when the program ends, a growing number of restaurants have announced that they will fund their own cutback initiatives in September to keep the momentum going in the fall.
In addition, the effect of the program, due to the absence of office workers and tourists, has benefited less metropolitan centers like London than smaller towns and seaside towns, according to the Guardian.
The coming months present the restaurants with a litany of uncertainties: the sector has still not been reassured on the imminent question of the rent, the owners – in the current state of the law – able to evict the tenants who have not been able to pay their bills since September 30. And while Sunak praises Eat Out to Help Out’s ability to “protect jobs,” the pandemic’s effect on the industry has already seen 22,000 jobs lost this year, with fears over the future of many workers. being questionable when government job protection (leave) ends at the end of October.
The months of July and August, aided by the introduction of the Eat Out to Help Out program, provided restaurants with a much needed boost – a 61% increase in traffic Monday through Wednesday last year, according to the platform. Open Table online reservation) after an unforeseen and prolonged period of forced closure and in many cases no income. What they need to know now is: what happens next?