The Speaker
Thursday, 13 June 2024 – 09:10

Eat Out To Help Out – how can you claim the new meal discount?

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme on Wednesday to help support the hospitality industry as it reopens following closures due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Here is a look at how and where you may be able to save money when the new scheme launches.


Who will be eligible?

Everyone in the UK, including children, will be able to use the discount at participating UK cafes, pubs and restaurants on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the month of August 2020. The discount can be used an unlimited number of times.


What will I be able to get a discount on?

Discounts will apply to meals and non-alcoholic drinks at participating venues. Takeaway orders or alcoholic drinks will not be included in the scheme.

The discount is 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a maximum discount of £10 per person.


Where will the discount apply?

The government website displaying cafés, pubs and restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has now launched. Click here for details.


Will there be any other discounts?

The Chancellor also announced on Wednesday that from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, the rate of VAT on food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation and admission to attractions will be cut from 20% to 5%.

The cuts in VAT mean that prices are expected to fall for consumers on a variety of purchases. For example, if a meal and a soft drink cost £9.20 today, it would cost £8.05 after the VAT cut next week (assuming that only VAT changes and the gross price stays the same).


Why is the Government running the scheme?

The Government isn’t just running the scheme to treat us all to half price meals. Pubs, cafes and restaurants have been closed for months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has led to many of them struggling financially.

Now that venues are reopening, the number of people visiting them is expected to be much lower than before the pandemic. Social distancing means that many venues will be operating at reduced capacity and with the virus still in circulation in the UK and many people continuing to work from home, many will be reluctant to eat out straight away.

The 50% off discount is designed to encourage more people to spend money on eating meals at UK businesses. Businesses that are part of the scheme will be able to claim back the discounted money from the government within 5 working days. The Chancellor said that the plan is aimed at getting “customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs” and protecting “the 1.8 million people who work in them”.

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