The UK Government announced back in July that they were going to introduce the ‘Eat out to help out scheme’ to give the British economy a much-needed boost after the disastrous effects of lockdown. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the purpose of this new programme was to support the restaurant industry and its staff during this difficult period following the pandemic. Chancellor Sunak stated that: He stated: “To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs, and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them, I can announce today that, for the month of August, we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out to Help Out discount.” But how does this new scheme work? More importantly, what restaurants are taking part in it?  All will be explained.

How does it work?

The Government’s ‘Eat out to help out scheme’ will run from the 3rd of August to the 31st and will include establishments such as restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs and even food halls. This scheme will see customers receive a 50% discount on their bill for food and non-alcoholic beverages on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between the 3rd and 31st of August. You can participate in this scheme in as many restaurants as you like, as often as you want to. The 50% discount can reduce as much as £10 per head on your dining bill, making eating out more financially viable for people during this uncertain period.

To participate in this scheme you simply eat at a participating restaurant during the stipulated period and your discount will be applied automatically, no need for vouchers or anything. There is also no minimum spend required to qualify for the discount, however, the discount will not apply to alcoholic beverages or separate service charges. After you have received your discount the establishment which you have eaten in will claim a reimbursement from the government for your discount.

What restaurants are taking part?

Just some of the food chains that are taking part in this scheme are Costa Coffee, McDonald’s, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express and Zizzi. However, to see what local restaurants and cafés are taking part near you, you will need to look at the government’s tool online. Once there, you just simply click onto the ‘Find a restaurant’ option and then enter your postcode. A list of participating businesses within 5 miles of your home will automatically appear.

What if you live in an area that is under localised lockdown?

If you are living in a city or town that is currently experiencing a localised lockdown, then it go without saying that you should be sticking to the rules where you live, however, depending on what those rules are, that may mean that many participating businesses will not be open. However, the restaurants that are participating may still appear in the online tool so you will know where you can go to eat out for a discount once the restrictions have been lifted.

What will it be like eating out in a post-quarantine world?

In most restaurants across the country, there are signs which remind people to keep their distance from one another and to sanitise their hands upon arrival. However, there are some big changes to what we can expect from restaurants now. Until further notice, there will be no live music or walking up to the bar, instead, it will all be table service to limit how many people customers interact with. Staff will be required to clean and sanitise surfaces more frequently and contactless payments are encouraged. The number of people allowed into indoor spaces will be limited for the foreseeable future and many businesses, including McDonald’s, are taking customers contact details to help aid the track and trace system that is currently in place.

You should definitely take full advantage of this scheme whilst it lasts and have a much-deserved meal out with family or friends, but make sure to follow restaurant guidelines and stay safe whilst out and about.