The government has announced that more than 64 million meals were enjoyed by diners across the country during the government's Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme. The scheme closed on 31 August 2020.
Government figures show that restaurants had claimed for more than 64 million discounted meals as Eat Out to Help Out entered its fourth week.
This continues the upward trend in the scheme's popularity, with 10.5 million meals claimed for in the first week, growing to a total of 35 million meals in the second.
The upward trend in meals claimed for shows that millions continued to flock to eat out to support 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector, which has been hit hard by coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has confirmed that 87,000 claims have been made by restaurants taking part in the scheme.
Data from OpenTable shows that during Eat Out to Help Out's third week the number of customers at UK restaurants was 61% higher than the same days last year on average for Monday to Wednesday. The average level across Monday to Wednesday in the first and second week were 12% and 41% respectively. The data also shows that the number of customers at UK restaurants was up 17% compared to the same week in 2019.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
'Today's figures continue to show that Brits are backing hospitality – with more than 64 million meals discounted so far, that's equivalent to nearly every person in the country dining out to protect jobs.
'This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly two million people who work in hospitality.'
Internet links: GOV.UK news HMRC guidance