Eat Out to Help Out: How does the scheme work and which restaurants are taking part?

3 August 2020, 16:41

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is up and running
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is up and running. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

The long-awaited Eat Out to Help Out scheme is up and running, bringing 50% discounts for diners.

Cafes and restaurants have already filled up across the country on the launch day, and the scheme will continue throughout this month on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Dubbed "Rishi's dishes", Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the scheme to give the struggling hospitality sector a boost now lockdown has eased in most areas.

Here's everything you need to know about the scheme - and which firms are taking part.

How does the scheme work?

Between 3 and 31 August, diners will get a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks at participating restaurants, cafes and pubs.

The offer is only available from Mondays to Wednesdays and people will receive a maximum discount of £10 per head.

Diners can get 50% off on the scheme at participating businesses
Diners can get 50% off on the scheme at participating businesses. Picture: PA

Claer Barrett, FT's Personal Finance Editor on Eat Out To Help Out

So if two people spend £50, they can only receive a discount of £20.

Children are also included and there is no limit on group size. 

There is no minimum spend either, meaning the price of your latte would be halved.

Businesses will then claim the money lost from the full cost from the Treasury. 

Do I need a voucher?

No - the discount is applied automatically at participating restaurants.

A restaurant in central London on Monday carries the sign 'wanted: customers'
A restaurant in central London on Monday carries the sign 'wanted: customers'. Picture: PA

How many times can I use the scheme? 

However many times you like - there is no limit on using the scheme Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August. 

Are any items excluded from the discount? 

Alcoholic drinks do not qualify for the scheme, neither does tobacco or service charges. 

The discount applies to food and non-alcoholic drinks, including soft drinks and packaged snacks, as long as they are consumed immediately on the premises.

Food or drink sold as part of a private party, event or function is also not eligible, including that served at weddings, takeaways, or mobile food vans.

What if I want to split the bill?

The discount will be applied on the total cost of the meal, regardless of individual meal prices. It may be easier to portion up the cost after one member of your party has paid.

Which businesses are taking part? 

You can find out which firms in your local area have signed up to the scheme using the Government’s postcode checker

Simply type in your postcode and a list of all the businesses in your area involved will show up. 

Here are some of the major chains taking part in the scheme.
- Ask Italian
- Bill's
- Burger King
- Byron
- Caffe Nero
- Costa Coffee
- Five Guys
- Franco Manca
- Fullers
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen
- Greene King
- Honest Burgers
- McDonald's
- Nando's
- Patisserie Valerie
- Pizza Express
- Pizza Hut
- Pret A Manger
- Prezzo
- Starbucks
- Turtle Bay
- Wagamama
- Wetherspoon
- YO! Sushi
- Zizzi