Data released by the UK Government has shown that on the final day of its Eat Out To Help Out scheme bookings were up 216 percent compared to the same day last year. The number of meals claimed rose from 62 million to more than 100 million, with 84,700 establishments signed up to the initiative.
The figures show that EOHO, which offered eat-in customers a 50 percent discount up to £10 per person on all food and non-alcoholic drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays throughout August, grew steadily in popularity throughout the month.
While the scheme was a success, some restauranteurs fear that it has encouraged an unwelcome return to discounting, with larger restaurant operators choosing to mirror the offer at their own cost throughout next month and beyond.
There have been calls from many, including the UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, for the Government to extend the scheme.
“The Eat Out To Help Out scheme has been a great success for hospitality,” commented Nicholls.
“It has provided a timely boost in trade which will have helped many businesses safeguard jobs all around the UK.”
The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has presented the New Zealand Government with a proposal to implement a similar scheme to help our struggling hospitality sector here in Aotearoa.