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FOOD & DRINK

The UK Government Is Paying for Diners to Have Half-Price Meals at Restaurants for a Whole Month

It's hoped the scheme, called 'Eat Out to Help Out', will encourage residents to dine out and support struggling hospo businesses.
By Sarah Ward
August 05, 2020
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The UK Government Is Paying for Diners to Have Half-Price Meals at Restaurants for a Whole Month

It's hoped the scheme, called 'Eat Out to Help Out', will encourage residents to dine out and support struggling hospo businesses.
By Sarah Ward
August 05, 2020
  shares

Both in Australia's nationwide lockdown between March and June and under Victoria's current Stage Four restrictions, the country's hospitality businesses have been doing it tough. Temporary closures, pivoting to takeaway and delivery, stocking sought-after grocery items, enforcing social distancing, operating at limited capacity — these have all been on the cards across the nation to help stem the spread of COVID-19, and they've all had a sizeable impact on restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars. In fact, in Melbourne, 15 percent of hospitality venues don't think they'll be able reopen after the present stay-at-home period.

The situation is comparable worldwide, of course — and in the United Kingdom, a new scheme has just come into effect to attempt to help the culinary sector. Operational since Monday, August 3 and running until Monday, August 31, the UK Government's 'Eat Out to Help Out' regime is trying to encourage folks to head out of the house and have a meal, all by offering 50 percent discounts.

There are a few caveats, understandably. Nonetheless, diners will indeed score a half-price feed if they sit down for a bite at a participating venue — of which there's more than 72,000, the BBC reports. As well as restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, the scheme also applies to canteens at workplaces and schools, plus food halls. But, it's only on offer for dine-in customers, not takeaway or delivery.

Julia Sansone

Among the other rules, the deal is only available Monday–Wednesday each week, only applies to food and non-alcoholic beverages (sorry, no booze), and only provides up to £10 (about $18 AUD) off per diner per meal. But, there's no minimum spend, no vouchers required to redeem the discount and no limit on the number of people per group. There's no cap on the amount of times a person can claim the discount, either, so UK residents could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out of the house three days a week for the entire month if they wanted to.

The UK's social distancing requirements and other COVID-19 hygiene practises still apply to anyone venturing out of their house for a meal, naturally. Still, if you're an Aussie currently thinking "that sounds like a good idea", you might want to cross your fingers that something similar is implemented closer to home — when it's safe to do so.

If you're reading this from the UK, you can find more information about the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme via the UK Government's website.

Published on August 05, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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