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FOOD & DRINK

The Restaurant Association Is Calling on New Zealand's Government to Subsidise Meals for a Whole Month

If adopted, the 'Dine Out to Help Out' scheme will give diners 50 percent off their bill.
By Sarah Ward and Stephen Heard
August 20, 2020
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The Restaurant Association Is Calling on New Zealand's Government to Subsidise Meals for a Whole Month

If adopted, the 'Dine Out to Help Out' scheme will give diners 50 percent off their bill.
By Sarah Ward and Stephen Heard
August 20, 2020
  shares

It's no secret that 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.

New Zealand's Restaurant Association estimates that 12 percent of Auckland businesses and five percent of operators around the rest of the country are anticipating closing their businesses for good in the next 30 days.

To avoid such a situation, the Association is calling on the Government to adopt a scheme similar to one that recently rolled out in the United Kingdom. In an effort to support the struggling culinary sector 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.

The Restaurant Association is petitioning to launch 'Dine Out to Help Out' which will run in a similar fashion to its UK equivalent across in-house dining at appropriate alert levels.

In the UK, the half-price deal is only on offer for dine-in customers, and is only available Monday–Wednesday each week. 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 scheme was used more than 10.5 million times in its first week and has been hailed as a success by many restaurateurs in the UK.

If adopted, the 'Dine Out to Help Out' scheme will give diners 50 percent off their bill up to the value of $20 from Tuesday to Thursday for one month. The discount will apply to food only, not booze. The Association's aim is to kick the scheme off once the nation is back at Alert Level 1.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to urge the Government to provide support for the hospitality industry, which has currently not received any targeted assistance through the pandemic to date.

For more information and to sign the petition, visit dineouthelpout.co.nz.

Published on August 20, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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