Eat out to help out scheme to be extended by some restaurants | Business

Restaurants are extending their offer of discounted meals in the government’s eat out to help out scheme after it ends on 31 August because of its popularity with diners, although the eateries will have to cover the costs themselves.

In September, consumers will be able to take advantage of reduced prices at nationwide chains including Harvester, Toby Carvery, Tesco Café, Bill’s, Pizza Hut and Prezzo.

The scheme has drawn people back into restaurants, bars and cafes, providing a much-needed boost for hospitality businesses hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. More than 64m meals have been claimed in total since it began at the start of the month – the equivalent of one for almost every person in the country.

The initiative was designed to entice consumers back to hospitality venues by offering a half-price discount up to a maximum of £10 per head on food and non-alcoholic drink from Mondays to Wednesdays in August and has gone so well that restaurants have called for the government to extend it.

On Wednesday the Federation of Small Businesses became the latest organisation to call on ministers to extend the scheme into September after lauding its success.

Deliveroo will offer £5 off an order of £20 or more during the first three days of each week in September. The food delivery firm will offer cash off the first 100,000 orders at small restaurants each week in September. National chains will not be part of the deal, unless they pick up the tab themselves.

“Deliveroo is passionate about supporting local restaurants, who are central to our business and to so many high streets across the UK,” the Deliveroo boss, Will Shu, said.

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“Our restaurant partners play a vital role in our economy, just as they do people’s everyday lives, bringing people the food they love. We know they have been hit hard recently and we hope our eat in to help out scheme can play a part in helping their businesses through this difficult period.”

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for the hospitality sector, both during the lockdown and emerging from it. Thousands of restaurants and cafes forced to close during lockdown were thankfully able to continue trading in some way using delivery services such as Deliveroo.”

About 16,000 local restaurants would be involved in the scheme, Deliveroo said. Customers will be given a code to use to apply the discount.

Source: The Guardian

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