Restaurants have claimed more than 100 million meals under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, according to the latest HMRC figures.
Since 3 August, 100 million discounted meals have been claimed by some 84,700 businesses who were taking part in in the scheme. The Treasury said restaurants have so far made 130,000 claims worth £522m, figures likely to rise as outlets have until the end of September to claim.
The scheme, which was launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to support restaurants, cafes and the hospitality industry, offers 50% off dine-in meals and soft drinks, up to a maximum of £10 per head, at cafes, restaurants and pubs from Monday to Wednesday throughout the month of August. The discount can be used an unlimited number of times.
The figures published by The Treasury have shown 10.5 million meals claimed in the first week, increasing to 35 million in the second and more than 64 million times in the third.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to 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.”
Tens of millions of people enjoyed half-price meals at the treasury’s expense in the August since the programme was introduced on 3rd of August.
The government has set aside £500m to fund Eat Out to Help Out. About 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and 1.4 million workers were furloughed – the highest proportions of any sector – according to government data.