BRITS are looking forward to 50% off their pub and restaurant bills when the Eat Out to Help Out program begins on August 3.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the program – which will run Monday through Wednesday every week until August 31 – with the aim of boosting the struggling tourism industry and economy.
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The government will cover the other half of the bill through the Eat Out To Help Out program, up to £ 10 per person, to boost the hotel industry lockdown after the coronavirus.
The discount also includes children’s meals, although it does not cover alcoholic beverages ordered to accompany your food.
He will see an £ 80 bill for a family of four reduced to just £ 40.
The incentive is part of a mini-budget package to help the economy rebound after the coronavirus lockdown.
A leisure program like this has never been tried before in the UK, with the Chancellor telling the Commons that ‘the moment is unique’ and calling on policymakers to be ‘creative’.
Mr Sunak added, “So to bring customers back to restaurants, cafes and pubs, and protect the 1.8 million people who work there, I can announce today that for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an Eat Discount to help. “
How will the program work and do I need a voucher?
The government will cover half the cost of the meal out, up to £ 10 per person, including children.
The reduction means that a meal for two which costs £ 20 will be reduced to £ 10, but a meal of £ 25 for two will be reduced to £ 15 due to the cap of £ 10 per person.
There is no limit to the number of times you can use the discount, so in theory you can get half-price meals every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in August.
Businesses will need to register for the program on Gov.uk before they can offer the discount, and be approved by the Food Standards Agency.
What was announced in the mini-budget?
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Here is what the Chancellor announced:
Instead of issuing coupons – which the government said increased the risk of fraud – restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to collect the money.
The refund will then be transferred to the bank accounts of restaurants, cafes and pubs within five working days.
Customers will only get the discount if they eat at a registered business.
Where will you get the discount?
Any hospitality business that serves meals can enroll in the program, including high street chains and independent restaurants.
Hungry diners will only get money on the bill if they eat out on the quieter days of the week in August – Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
How to save money at a restaurant
There are several ways to save money by eating out. Here’s how:
Discount codes – Check out sites like Sun Vouchers or VoucherCodes for all the discount codes you can use to get cash on your order.
Tastecard – This is a membership club where you pay for access to discounts of up to 50% at thousands of restaurants. It costs £ 4.99 per month or £ 34.99 for the year.
Loyalty programs – Some restaurants will reward you with discounts or a free meal if you sign up for their loyalty program, like Nando’s where you can collect a stamp with each visit. Some chains like Pizza Express will send you discounts for special occasions, like your birthday, if you sign up for their newsletter.
Coupon systems – Look for voucher schemes offered by third party companies, such as Meerkat Meals. If you compare and buy a product through CompareTheMarket.com, you will be rewarded with access to the discount program. You will have 2 meals for 1 in some restaurants from Sunday to Thursday.
Student discounts – If you are studying full time or are a member of the National Union of Students, you may be able to benefit from a reduction of up to 15% on the invoice. It is always worth asking before placing your order.
The Eat Out to Help Out program does not apply on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
The program will start on August 3 and run until August 31.
The discount will only be taken into account for meals taken out, so you will still have to pay the full price for your take out meals if you order them in a restaurant.
And remember, you’ll have to pay the full amount if you eat at a restaurant or pub that hasn’t signed up for the program.
How will the announcement help the economy?
It is believed it will also breathe life into Britain’s tourism and leisure industries, which have suffered huge blows throughout the pandemic.
Eight out of ten workers in the accommodation and food services industry have been laid off, according to the Office for National Statistics.
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In July 2020, the UKHospitality trade body warned that sales are expected to be 56% lower than in 2019, costing the industry £ 73.4 billion.
He said that unless additional support is provided to the industry, “hundreds of thousands of jobs are still hanging in the balance.”
Workers at all levels are also threatened with layoffs, as companies are expected to start cutting wages for staff on leave from August.
So far, the coronavirus crisis has demanded a number of restaurant chains, including Carluccio’s and Chiquito, with chains such as Frankie & Benny’s and Pret also announcing branch closures.
What else was announced?
Low-cost stays are also on the table this summer as the Chancellor announced that VAT would be reduced by 15% on food, accommodation and attractions.
The tax will drop from 20% to 5% from next Wednesday.
The government is hoping to create jobs in local communities as Brits are encouraged to spend their holidays in the UK this summer.
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The Chancellor also presented plans for a stamp duty holiday to revive the property market after everything froze during the foreclosure.
The tax-free threshold was temporarily raised from £ 125,000 to £ 500,000 from July 8, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
You can read more about how it will affect you here.