In Northampton North, more than 66,000 meals were claimed for the scheme, with a total discount claimed totalling over £363,000.
In the UK as a whole, over 100 million meals with a total value of more than £500m were claimed for, helping to protect 1.8 million jobs in hospitality. On 31st August alone, bookings were up an incredible 216% compared to the same day in 2019!
This scheme has given the hospitality industry a much-needed boost after what has been a very challenging period. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Government’s mission has been to protect jobs, and it is clear that many businesses - particularly those in the hospitality industry - have experienced enormous difficulties this year.
To give a better understanding of the scheme’s success:
- In July 2020, restaurant bookings were down 54% on average from Mondays to Wednesdays compared to July 2019;
- In the month of August 2020 restaurant bookings were up 53% on average on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, compared to the same days in 2019.
Eat Out to Help Out was just one part of the Conservative Government’s Plan for Jobs – an ambitious £30 billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus. The Government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT from 20% to 5% until 12th January 2021.
I am also pleased that many establishments, following the success of the scheme, are extending the discount themselves throughout September.
The Northampton Chronicle and Echo recently published an article outlining some of the local eateries who are offering this, which can be found here: https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/lifestyle/food-and-drink/all-places-northampton-and-surrounding-areas-extending-eat-out-help-out-half-price-food-scheme-during-september-2959756
You may read more about the success of the scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-diners-eat-100-million-meals-to-protect-2-million-jobs