Eat Out To Help Out scheme restored consumer confidence: UKHospitality chief

31 August 2020, 12:20

By Seán Hickey

The head of the UK's leading hospitality association was full of praise for Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

The government incentive to encourage people back into restaurants and bars comes to a close today, and the chair of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls insisted that "rebuilding consumer confidence" is the point Chancellor Rishi Sunak's scheme will be best remembered for.

Ms Nicholls said that the restoration of consumer confidence "will have the longer lasting effect" on the hospitality industry as footfall skyrocketed during August.

The UKHospitality chief told LBC that well over 64 million meals were bought in the Eat Out To Help out scheme which convinced half of punters to come out "for the first time since coronavirus struck."

"It's been incredibly successful," she told Andrew.

The government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme has succeeded in getting people back on UK high streets
The government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme has succeeded in getting people back on UK high streets. Picture: PA

Ms Nicholls argued that a lot of the restaurants that benefitted from the scheme "wouldn't have opened up during August and wouldn't have brought all their staff back off furlough," if it wasn't for the government's nudge.

The scheme "gave those businesses a sustainable kick start," she insisted.

Andrew argued that "perhaps we've delayed the inevitable," with the scheme, making the point that many may not be able to afford to go out when the furlough scheme ends, which will be detrimental to many small businesses.

The UKHospitality chief accepted that the success seen in August "might not be enough to get them all the way through the winter," and government may be called on again to support these businesses.

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