Hospitality businesses have been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. In the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Statement in early July, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was launched to encourage people to return to eating out. Here, Stephanie Hammond, director at Beatons Group, examines how the scheme will work.
In order to support around 130,000 businesses and help protect the jobs of their 1.8 million employees, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been launched.
Restaurants and other establishments serving food for customers on-premises can sign up online which will run throughout August.
How does it work?
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and other eligible food establishments will offer a discount of 50% to every diner – up to £10 per person for food and non-alcoholic drinks. The discount can be used an unlimited number of times every Monday to Wednesday, between August 3 and August 31, on any eat-in meal.
Customers do not need a voucher as businesses will reclaim the discounted amount via on online service supported by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Claims will be made on a weekly basis and will be paid into bank accounts within five working days.
To register for the scheme, visit the website here.
Who can register?
Businesses can register if the establishment:
- Sells food for consumption on the premises
- Provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
- Was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before July 7
Businesses are unable to register if:
- It only offers takeaway food or drink
- It provides catering services for private functions
- It is a hotel that provides room service only
- It is a dining service such as packaged dinner cruises
- It is a mobile food van
Food outlets should wait until they are registered for Eat Out to Help Out before offering customers discounts as they are not applicable until August 3.
How to register
In order to register for the scheme, you must have:
- Your business’ Government Gateway ID and password
- Name and address of each establishment to be registered (unless you are registering more than 25)
- UK bank account number and sort code for the business
- Address on the business bank account
You may also need your VAT registration number, employer PAYE scheme reference number and corporation tax or self-assessment unique taxpayer reference.
Making a claim
Businesses taking part on Eat Out to Help Out must keep:
- A record of the total number of customers who have used the scheme
- The value of transactions
- Total amount of discount given
The scheme will be open for businesses to claim reimbursements from August 7 until September 30. Any money received through the initiative will be treated as taxable income.
If you need help to register for Eat Out to Help Out or any other coronavirus-related measures, please get in touch by calling 01473 659777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org