Eat Out to Help Out scheme increased restaurant spending by a third

·2-min read

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme increased restaurant spending by more than a third on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, figures have revealed.

<p>The government scheme - which gave diners up to 50% off their bill to a maximum of £10 each - <strong><a href="" target="_blank">finished on 31 August.</a></strong></p><p>The discount for food and non-alcoholic drinks was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help boost the struggling hospitality industry in the wake of the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>COVID-19</strong></a> pandemic.</p><p>Popular restaurants - including Nando's, Wagamama and Gourmet Burger Kitchen - were among tens of thousands of outlets to sign up.</p><p>Barclaycard Payments, which manages around 40% of UK transactions, said diners spent 34.2% more at restaurants during the subsidised days than on the same days before the scheme in July.</p><p>Research showed that Wednesdays were the most popular day, with spending increasing by 39.7%.</p><p>It found that almost four in 10 British people made use of the scheme - with 52% choosing to specifically eat out on the discounted days.</p><p>In total, 87,000 claims were made by businesses signed up to the government initiative, the Treasury has said. £336m had been claimed for 64 million diners for the week of 23 August, according to HMRC data.</p> <p>However, despite the success of the scheme, the bank reported that the average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained somewhat stable.</p><p>Food costs rose from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August.</p><p>Barclays said this indicates that the government subsidy encouraged diners to order more items than usual, in order to spend "roughly the same amount overall".</p><p>Rob Cameron, chief executive of Barclaycard Payments, said the Eat Out to Help Out scheme had a "positive impact" for businesses in August.</p> <p>"Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight", he said.</p><p>The data found that almost one in five people plan on continuing to eat out more often to support the industry - with 18% saying they will return to restaurants they would not have otherwise visited without the government discount.</p><p>Many restaurants - including <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Pizza Hut, Bill's and Pizza Pilgrims</strong></a> - have decided to continue offering 50% off most items without government support.</p>