Only half of restaurants and pubs to participate in Eat Out to Help Out scheme, says poll

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Only half of restaurants and pubs to participate in Eat Out to Help Out scheme, says poll

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Only just over half of restaurant and pub businesses say they will participate in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, this week’s Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM has found.

The poll of 217 respondents, all of whom are board level operators or founders of pub, independent and food to go businesses, shows that 58% of businesses plan to participate in the scheme, which offers diners 50% off eat in food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a total value of £10 per person every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August

Independent restaurants are the most likely to participate in the scheme, according to the findings, with 77% of restaurant businesses saying they will participate, compared with just 49% of pubs.

Of those pubs that were not participating, many responded that it was because of their lack of food offer. “We are a pub and don’t offer food, we are purely wet led,” says one respondent. “As usual the offerings are only in place for large pubcos like Wetherspoons.”

“We as a wet-led pub are classed as the hospitality sector yet we do not get the recognition in the new 5% VAT,” says another.

“This would help us too. I am tired of seeing all the big companies and pubcos benefiting… if the Chancellor has given the deal to the hospitality sector then that means all of us.”

Restaurant groups that have said they intend to participate in the scheme include D&D London, The Coconut Tree and Loungers.

Other respondents say the discount scheme is more suited to areas that will already have some footfall in the summer.

“The voucher scheme for August is aimed at city centres, it needs to be flexible to assist other areas,” says one publican. “Coastal resorts do not need this in August, it is busiest month of the year.”

When asked about no shows in the first weeks of opening, half of all businesses polled said they had suffered some issues with people not showing up for a booking, with 7% saying that no shows have so far been a big issue.

The number of hospitality operators asked who were 'quite confident' in the future of their business has increased from 42% to 51% week-on-week, according to the poll.

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