Home News First week of Eat Out to Help Out Scheme hailed a success

    First week of Eat Out to Help Out Scheme hailed a success

    First week of Eat Out to Help Out Scheme hailed a success
    The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will run between Mondays and Wednesdays throughout August

    Struggling restaurant and pub operators have praised the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme following a successful first week of the month-long offer.

    The Government’s support for the hospitality industry is viewed as an important first step in encouraging the public to dine out again.

    Eat Out to Help Out offers customers 50% off their food or non-alcoholic drinks up to £10 per person from Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August.

    The latest figures show over 73,000 individual outlets have signed up to the scheme with Trade association, UKHospitality, estimating 93% of eligible businesses across the country are involved.

    Some 3.3m people have used the Government online restaurant finder and research by insight agency KAM Media suggests that 35.6m consumers are likely to take advantage of the scheme during August.

    Operators across the country have reported significant double digit increases in like-for-like sales, compared to last year, with tables in high demand for the rest of the month.

    Colin Hill, chief executive, Nando’s UK & Ireland, said: “Eat Out to Help Out has given a welcome boost to the hospitality industry at a time where we are looking to reignite sales, restore customer confidence and protect jobs. We’ve been busy so far this week, welcoming many new and existing customers back into our restaurants which is encouraging to see.

    “It’s too early to tell the long-term success of the initiative due to the many challenges that we still have to navigate in the weeks and months ahead, but so far it has proven popular with our customers.”

    Peter Borg Neal, founder of pub group Oakman Inns said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been fantastic for us – we have been over twice as busy as we were this time last year. It great to see people socialising in a safe environment and the scheme is clearly protecting jobs.

    “Moving forward, further financial help is needed to protect pubs and restaurants who have accumulated debt, such as rent, if we’re going to save those businesses and their jobs.”

    Michelin-starred pub and restaurant chef Tom Kerridge, said: “It’s been great for the industry. We all love the sound of glassware and crockery being used and happy people in restaurants. We’re all looking forward to the stage where we can stand on our own two feet again, and this has been helpful support in the meantime.”

    Will Beckett, co-founder of Hawksmoor, which has received over 15,000 bookings for the 13 days of the scheme across its six restaurants, said: “Although we’ve seen lower sales due to the lower spend per head, but we’re still incredibly happy – everyone loves having busy restaurants and lots of new people are coming in and trying Hawksmoor for the first time, or finding a way to come back that they can afford at the moment.

    “Anything that encourages people to leave the home and start enjoying restaurants again is great. The industry needs this kind of kick-start at the moment. I think it is a really good example of much-needed government intervention for an industry still in crisis.”

    Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, which represents a sector that employs 3.2m people and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, said: “The Chancellor recognised that our sector has been hit the hardest of all and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme provides a much-needed boost for many vulnerable hospitality businesses.

    “The sector has been quick to adopt the scheme and customers have been quick to take advantage of the many great deals available – with many newly social-distanced venues now booked up.

    “We hope that people continue to enjoy a fantastic dining out experience at a significant discount throughout the rest of August.”

    Further industry commentary and insight will be shared later in the month to update on the impact of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.