Eat Out To Help Out
Throughout August, pubs, restaurants and cafés are able to take part in the government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme. The programme gives diners a 50% discount when they eat in at your venue. Available across the home nations, businesses can register at any time.
The scheme offers a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10, on non-alcoholic drinks and food for guests to consume on-site. The discount is active each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August, with no vouchers or codes required. Participating venues are asked to automatically apply the discount and claim back the cost from the government. The discount is on a per-head basis, and can be offered for every guest, at every visit.
Applying to take part
Businesses can apply to offer the scheme online at GOV.UK. You will need your business name, address, bank account details, and the date your business began trading. You may also require your VAT registration number employer, PAYE scheme reference number, and your Corporation Tax, Self Assessment or Partnership Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference. You will need to provide information for each of your sites should the total number be below 25. Larger operators should provide a link to a website which contains the name and address of each venue taking part, and be prepared to provide full details on request.
Finding participating venues
The government has created a lookup tool at GOV.UK that provides consumers with a list of participating venues within a five mile radius. Users can also find a list of large operators that are taking part here. You should actively promote your participation in the scheme. The government has produced a bank of materials such as posters and social media assets that you can use.
Claiming back the discounted amount
It is expected that you will offer the discount through the day and on all sales of food and soft drinks, where there is an expectation they will be consumed on-site. 'Eat Out To Help Out' should be named alongside the discount being offered on the bill. For each separate day, and for each separate venue, you should keep a record of the total number of people who have taken the discount, the total value of all transactions qualifying under the scheme, and the total value of discounts given.
Claims can be made at any time between 7 August and 30 September, however, you must have been registered with the scheme for at least 7 days. You can submit claims online every week and HMRC will pay within 5 working days.
Why take part?
Venues should take a look at the scheme in more detail to determine if it is right for them. If you currently have promotions or discounts running, the scheme can enhance what you are offering. Many venues taking part have already reported an increase in bookings during the early part of the week, and we are likely to see this continue throughout the month.