Number of restaurant premises signed up to Eat Out to Help Out drops by 1,000

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Number of restaurant premises signed up to Eat Out to Help Out drops by 1,000

Related tags Restaurant Coronavirus Eatouttohelpout

The total number of individual restaurant premises signed up to the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme has fallen by 1,000 between the second and third week.

Statistics released by the Government show that 85,000 individual restaurant premises were registered to take part in the scheme as of 16 August, but this has now dropped to 84,000.

Despite this, the figures also reveal a continuing upward trend in the scheme’s consumer popularity, with more than 64m meals having been claimed for since the initiative, which offers eat-in customers a 50% discount up to £10 per person on all food and non-alcoholic drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays throughout August, launched at the beginning of the month. 

Data from OpenTable shows that during Eat Out to Help Out’s third week the number of customers at UK restaurants was 61% higher than the same days last year on average for Monday to Wednesday.

The average level across Monday to Wednesday in the first and second week were 12% and 41% respectively.

A total of 87,000 claims have been made by businesses under the scheme over the three-week period, at a cost of £336m to the Treasury.

The Government has set aside £500m to fund the policy.

Commenting on the figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Today’s figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality.

"With more than 64m meals discounted so far, that’s equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs."

Calls have been growing in some quarters for the scheme to continue beyond the end of August.

Yesterday (24 August), UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls noted on BBC Breakfast ​how the scheme had been successful in 'boosting confidence and boosting footfall' as she made a call for it to be extended​; a sentiment echoed by fellow trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Some restaurants have already taken the decision to mirror the scheme throughout September and beyond​​​ at their own cost in a bid to further drive sales beyond the summer.

The Gaucho group, for example, will continue to offer a 50% discount up to £10 per person on all food and non-alcoholic drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays across both its Gaucho and M steak restaurant brands in September, with CEO Martin Williams encouraging others in the industry to follow suit.

“We are equally part of the solution and now it’s our turn to give back, both by rewarding previous guests loyalty and thanking new diners who are experiencing Gaucho or M for the first time in September," said Williams last week.

"We encourage those restaurants that are able, to do the same. Let’s all play our part in getting the hospitality industry back on track and being part of the solution."

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