Government’s plan to boost restaurants launches

Diners across the East Midlands will see their restaurant bills slashed by as much as 50% from today as the government’s much-heralded Eat Out to Help Out scheme officially opens for business (Monday 3 August).

Anyone visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August will receive the half price discount.

The scheme – part of the government’s Plan for Jobs – applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of £10. It could save a family of four up to £40 per meal.

More than 72,000 establishments are participating, including independent eateries and family favourites such as Pizza Express, Costa Coffee and Nando’s.

There have already been over 3.3 million hits on the Eat Out to Help Out restaurant finder since it launched last week, which shows what businesses are participating in local areas. Apps like Opentable, Fork and Bookatable are all planning pages to support the scheme.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our Eat Out to Help Out scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door.

“More than 72,000 establishments will be serving discounted meals across the country, with the government paying half the bill. The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favourite places your support – we’ll pay half.”

Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed, the highest of any sector.

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