Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out program, which he says “has never been tried in the UK before”, kicks off Monday.
But what does this mean for you and which restaurants are involved?
What is the scheme?
From August 3 to 31, diners will enjoy a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages at participating restaurants, cafes and pubs.
The offer is only available Monday through Wednesday and people will get a maximum reduction of £ 10 per person.
Therefore, if two people spend £ 50, they can only get a reduction of £ 20.
The discount also applies to children and groups of any size.
Businesses will be able to claim the refund from the government and will have the funds in their bank account within five business days.
Will I need a voucher?
No, you don’t need a voucher to use the program, and you can use it alongside other offers and discounts.
Is there a minimum of expenses?
If, for example, you bought £ 5 worth of food from a participating business, you will pay £ 2.50.
What can I benefit from the reduction on?
The reduction applies to food and non-alcoholic drinks. This includes soft drinks and packaged snacks, as long as they are consumed immediately on site.
It does not apply to alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, foods or beverages that must be consumed outside of the premises, nor to foods or beverages sold as part of a party, event or of a private function.
Therefore, this does not apply to food or drink served at weddings, take out or in mobile catering vans.
The reduction cannot be claimed on the service charge either.
Which companies are involved?
The businesses in the program include restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, work and school canteens and food halls.
You can search for participating restaurants near you by going to the government website, where you can enter your postal code and find restaurants within an 8 km radius.
Independent companies and larger chains are involved, including Zizzi, Pizza Express, Nando’s, McDonald’s and Bill’s.
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Many places will have posters in their windows.
It should be remembered that some large chains, such as Starbucks, are franchises, so not all branches participate.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the program?
No, you can use it as many times as you want.
In theory, you can eat at more than one restaurant on the same day and qualify for the discount.
What happens if we split the bill?
Restaurants will offer the discount on the total bill, regardless of the cost of your individual meal.
For example, if you have £ 16 of food and drink and your friend spends £ 25, the restaurant will take £ 20.50 out of the £ 41 total.
You may want to calculate how much each person owes after paying the bill, rather than being billed separately.
Why does the program work?
The government wants to encourage customers to return to restaurants, which were hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
It aims to boost trade on the quieter days of the week and keep businesses afloat.