‘Eat Out To Help Out’ Scheme Begins

Diners across the UK will be able to enjoy half-price meals throughout August from Monday, as part of a government scheme aimed at boosting restaurants and pubs post-lockdown.



'Eat Out To Help Out' applies to eat-in food and drink on Monday to Wednesdays at more than 72,000 venues. The discount is capped at £10 per person and does not apply to alcohol.

But critics said unhealthy food should have been excluded from the scheme, over fears it could fuel obesity.

The scheme is designed to encourage people to visit restaurants, cafes and pubs, which have been badly hit by the lockdown.

Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed - the highest of any sector - according to government data.

Many venues which have reopened since 4 July have also been forced to operate at a lower capacity to comply with social distancing rules.

The offer only applies at participating eateries in areas of the UK that are not in local lockdown - but major chains including Pizza Express, Costa Coffee, McDonald's and Nando's are among the 72,000 to have signed-up.

No vouchers are required to use the offer, with the participating establishment deducting 50% from the bill and charging the discount to the Treasury.

There is no minimum spend and you can use the discount as often as you like on eligible days. However, it does not apply to takeaways.

Officials said there had been more than 3.3 million hits on the restaurant finder website since it started up last week.