Some restaurants extend eating out discount to September as state support ends

A number of restaurants have taken it into their own hands to continue the Eat Out to Help Out discount the Government has financed through August.

Pizza Hut, Bill’s and Pizza Pilgrims are among restaurants to say they will continue with the 50% discount next month, despite the state-backed programme coming to an end on August 31.

More than 64 million meals were eaten under the scheme during its first three weeks, according to data released on Tuesday.

Around 84,000 restaurants signed up to the scheme, which provides the discount up to £10 between Mondays and Wednesdays, to drive more customers into their sites after reporting weak footfall following the lockdown.

Government launches meal scheme
Government launches meal scheme

Bill’s has said it will keep offering the discount through September, while it will also be launching a discounted set menu starting at £10.

Popular chains Toby Carvery and Harvester have also said they will continue the offer through the first two weeks of next month after seeing strong customer numbers.

Q Hotels Group, which runs 21 sites, said it will also extend the scheme, with plans to have reductions on meals until November.

Restaurants in Mayfair and Belgravia in central London will all continue the discount into September after landowner Grosvenor Estates stepped in to foot the bill.

Grosvenor said it will extend the across participating restaurants, including the Mayfair Chippy, as “Central London is not yet back on its feet” despite receiving a boost from the dining subsidy.

Amelia Bright, executive director of the Grosvenor’s London estate, said: “We’re doing all we can to bring people back to the West End to enjoy its world class retail, beautiful architecture and fantastic restaurants.”

Takeaway delivery giant Deliveroo also announced that it offer customers a discount in September to encourage them to “eat in to help out”, after the subsidy scheme ends next week.

It said would offer £5 off an order of £20 or more during the first three days of each week in September.

On Wednesday, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) became the latest organisation to call on Government ministers to extend the scheme into September after hailing its success.

The hospitality sector was one of the industries hardest hit by the virus, with 80% of firms halting trading and 1.4 million workers being furloughed in April.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that 26.6% of hospitality workers remained of furlough in the two weeks to August 9.