Eat Out to Help Out - we certainly did!

September 29 2020

Diners in Bishopston, Redland, Cotham and St Andrews rose to the challenge of the Government’s incentive scheme to persuade us to Eat Out to Help Out in August. Lunchtime and evening meals saw an uptake as many people took advantage of discounts of up to 50% off on bills when visiting participating restaurants, pubs and cafes.
New statistics reveal that a total of 549,000 meals were claimed in Bristol under the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
According to HM Treasury, during August more than 100 million meals were claimed across the UK under the scheme, with a total of 84,700 eateries signing up. In addition, 130,000 claims have been made from eateries so far, totally £522 million.
In Bristol, 530 restaurants and cafes took part, and over £2.4million was claimed in discounts.
Bristol West was also the top constituency in the South West for restaurants registered (371), meals claimed (290,000) and discounts claimed which were just shy of £1.5million. In addition, the average saving per meal was £5.17. So many people eating out gave a major boost to the many eateries which line the Gloucester Road, Cheltenham Road and Chandos Road areas.
In Bristol North West, 57 establishments took part, with 185,000 meals claimed totalling discounts of £641,000 and an average discount per meal of £3.47. On average, each registered restaurant in Bristol claimed 1,036 discounted meals – 80 a day for the 13 eligible days.
In the Bishopston Voice area, the Cider Press on Gloucester Road was one of the establishments that took part in the scheme.
A spokesman said: “The Government Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August was very successful, so much so that we continued it into September. It has been a great incentive for our customers to come back. Monday to Wednesday is definitely the new Friday night at the moment.
“We are committed to providing the best possible customer experience and this is just one of many initiatives and campaigns that will be rolled out across Stonegate Pub Company in the coming weeks and months to benefit our customers.”
The scheme was designed to support the hospitality industry after a challenging few months because of coronavirus, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hailed its success.
It has also been credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, and restaurant bookings went up significantly up on the previous year. As data from OpenTable shows, bookings increased by an average of 52% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.
In addition, the government will also continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20% to 5%, until 12 January 2021.
The Chancellor 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.
“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.”