Over 3.7m Eat Out to Help Out meals served up in East Midlands

Over 3.7 million meals have been eaten by East Midlands diners under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme as of August 27 – the latest figures available.

In total, some 4,460 restaurants have taken part in the scheme, while the total amount of discount claim is a whopping £21.4m.

These numbers are likely to grow, with restaurants having until the end of September to claim back the 50% government-funded discount applied to bills.

According to OpenTable data, restaurant bookings increased by an average of 53% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019. In July 2020, restaurant bookings were down 54% on average from Mondays to Wednesdays compared to 2019.

On 31 August – the final day of the scheme – bookings were up 216% compared to the equivalent day in 2019.

Figures are only available for restaurants that have less than 26 outlets, and so HMRC says the real figure is much higher.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs- and to do this we needed be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.

“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.

“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”