Eat Out To Help Out diners battle to book for final days of 50% off

Rishi’s dishes will last into September: Diners battle to book for final days of 50% meal deals as restaurants and pubs say they will extend scheme into next month – amid calls for Treasury to carry on picking up tab

  • £336million has already been claimed from diners getting average of £5.25 off 
  • Business leaders are now calling for Government to extend it into September
  • But some chains such as Harvester and Toby Carvery are extending the deal
  • Diners report restaurants being fully booked as people rush to use scheme

Restaurant chains are extending the 50 per cent off meal deal into next month by footing the cost themselves amid calls for the Treasury to continue covering the bill.

At least £336million has already been claimed from eateries after diners have got an average of £5.25 off across 84,000 outlets taking part in the scheme.

Its success in encouraging diners to leave their homes this month from Mondays to Wednesdays has led business leaders to call for it to be extended into September, with the Government picking up the cost.

However, some chains such as Harvester, Toby Carvery, the Three Cheers Pub Company, Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery and Q Hotels Group are already extending the deal with the same discounts – but will foot the bill themselves.

Diners have again reported restaurants being fully booked as people rush to use the scheme giving up to £10 off per diner before its last day on Bank Holiday Monday. 

Click here to view an interactive map revealing the 84,000 restaurants involved

Diners on Kingly Street in London enjoy the Eat Out to Help Out scheme on August 18

Twitter user Fee said: ‘Literally every pub and restaurant in Shrewsbury is booked up tomorrow night! #EatOutToHelpOut. All I want is a steak.’

Another hopeful diner said he was spending a few nights in Ripon, North Yorkshire, with his wife where all restaurants in the town centre were ‘heavily booked’.

Q&A: When is Eat Out to Help Out on and do I need a voucher?

When is it available?

It runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from August 3 to 31.

What is it?

A 50 per cent discount when you eat in up to a maximum saving of £10 per diner. The business reclaims the value of the saving from government.

What establishments can take part?

Restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs; work and school canteens; food halls.

What are the restrictions?

No discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.

Do I need a voucher?

No. The discount will be automatically applied by the participating outlet. The saving can be used alongside other offers and discounts.

How do I find participating outlets?

Treasury has set up a postcode finder that will list outlets offering a scheme within a two mile radius – here

What about chain restaurants?

Ninety businesses have registered to take part in the scheme, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC; burger chains such as GBK, Five Guys, Honest Burgers; coffee shops such as Costa, Starbucks, Pret a Manger, Caffe Nero; pub chains such as Wetherspoon, Fullers, Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers; restaurant chains such as Wagamama, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Côte Brasserie, Franco Manca.


The Treasury said more than 64million meals have now been claimed by diners since Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the scheme at the start of the month.

Some 10.5million meals were claimed in the first week, before climbing to a total of 35million for the first two weeks.

A total of 87,000 claims have been made by restaurants and cafes signed up to the scheme, the Treasury said.

However, town centres are reeling from hundreds of restaurant closures at the likes of Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s and Bella Italia restaurants.

Its success in encouraging diners to leave their homes has led business leaders to call for it to be extended into September.

Mike Cherry, chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘This scheme is one that genuinely works in helping to get people out into small businesses.

‘A nationwide one-month extension would go some way to helping many firms which are still only just about managing in this time of crisis.’

Mr Sunak said: ‘Today’s figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality – with more than 64 million meals discounted so far, that’s equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs.

‘This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly two million people who work in hospitality.

‘I am urging everyone, where they can, to continue to safely enjoy a meal while the scheme remains open.’

Claims from the first two weeks of the scheme cost around £180million, according to HMRC.

David Page, co-chairman of Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore, said: ‘Eat Out to Help Out immediately increased our restaurant customer numbers by over 50 per cent, thus enabling us to get all our staff back to work.

‘In fact, we are now creating new jobs by hiring and training more people as fast as we can.’

Andy Laurillard, chief executive of Thai dining chain Giggling Squid, said: ‘As a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we have managed to avoid making any redundancies and we no longer have any of our 950 staff on furlough.’

Eat Out to Help Out signs are pictured outside a restaurant in Windsor, Berkshire, yesterday

A group of diners eat outside at Island Poke restaurant on Kingly Street in London on August 3

David Gallacher, director for Harvester, Toby Carvery and Stonehouse Pizza and Carvert, said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled with how our loyal guests have come out to support us in August, making the most of a great initiative from the Government.

How you could get a further £5 off your meal out with an Amex card

American Express is giving customers £5 cashback for spending £10 or more in small shops, which can can be used in conjunction with the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

It means you could buy a meal costing £20, get £10 off at the restaurant through the Government discount, then a further £5 cashback via Amex – meaning you pay just £5 for the meal.

A couple using two different Amex cards could split the bill, so they could both get £5 cashback as long as they each spend at least £10 on their card. 

Under the scheme, you can qualify for the £5 cashback up to ten times – meaning up to £50 is available to each customer. You can use the offer only once at each retailer. The cashback is being funded by Amex, not the store. 

‘Every one of them have really helped our restaurants get back on their feet after such a long period of closure and we’re extremely grateful they’ve chosen to come back and visit us after such a long time away.

‘We wanted to say a big thank you to them, and we feel the best way to do that is to continue to keep the great offers coming and allow all our guests to enjoy another 50% off mains, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the start of September.’

Harvester operates 174 restaurants across the UK, while Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery has 97 outlets and Toby Carvery has 154 locations.

Earlier this week, Wetherspoons warned that the coronavirus crisis will push it into the red despite a ‘rapid acceleration’ in sales this month thanks to the Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

The pub chain told investors that equivalent bar and food sales in the 44 days to August 16 were 16.9 per cent lower than in the same period last year.

The slump came despite the opening of 844 of its 873 pubs following their closure in March as the virus lockdown was imposed.

Wetherspoons founder and chairman Tim Martin, 65, said the loss of business means it expects to post a loss for the year to July 26.

But as with other pubs and restaurants, trading at Wetherspoons improved this month after the Eat Out To Help Out scheme was launched.

Which chains and restaurant groups are registered for the Eat Out To Help Out scheme?

Atalian Servest

Atlas Hotels

Bakers + Baristas

Bannatyne Health Club

Bar + Grills


Black Sheep Coffee

Blue Diamond

Boparan Restaurant Group



Burger King

Buzz Bingo


Caffè Nero

Center Parcs


Company of Cooks

The Cornish Bakery

Costa Coffee


Côte Brasserie

D&D London

David Lloyd Clubs

Deep Blue Fish & Chips

Dobbies Garden Centres

Euro Garages


Five Guys

Franco Manca 



GAIL’s Bakeries

Giggling Squid

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Greene King

Grosvenor Casinos

Hall & Woodhouse


Hollywood Bowl

Honest Burgers


JD Wetherspoon

JW Lees

Joe & The Juice

Joseph Holt 

Jurys Inn


Kew Green Hotels

Leon Restaurants

MacDonald Hotels





Mitchells & Butlers

Morrisons – Cafe and Barista Bar

New World Trading Company

Park Holidays

Patisserie Valerie 


Pizza Express 

Pizza Hut

Pret A Manger 



Revolution Bars Group

Raj Douth

Raj Gate


Selfridges & Co

Shepherd Neame Ltd

Spice Garden

St Austell Brewery


TGI Fridays

Team Sport


The Ivy Collection

The National Trust

Tony Macaroni


Turtle Bay


Village Hotels

Viva Italia




YO Sushi


Source: Read Full Article