British Gov. to foot 50% Of Restaurant, Pub Bills To Stimulate Recovery with “Eat Out to Help Out” Initiative
The British government announced Wednesday that it will foot 50% of the bill for diners and pub-goers during the month of August as part of an effort to boost the economy after months of coronavirus lockdown.
The U.K. Treasury launched the “Eat Out to Help Out” plan pledging a 50% discount of up to £10 per head for every diner at any participating restaurant, café, pub or eligible food service establishment.
The discount can be used unlimited times throughout the month of August, and will be valid Monday to Wednesday on “any eat-in meal,” but can’t be used for alcoholic beverages.
This initiative aims to encourage a return to eating out that will support around 130,000 businesses and protect the jobs of their 1.8 million employees, according to the Treasury’s announcement.
The food and accommodation industry in the U.K. has furloughed over 1.4 million workers since March; the second hardest hit sector following wholesale and retail, which furloughed 1.6 million.
Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés in parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland began welcoming customers for the first time since March on Saturday, though a range of coronavirus restrictions—including capacity limits, protective screens and mandatory table service—have transformed the experience.
The estimated amount of money this plan will cost the British government, according to Yahoo Finance ($629 million).
“Eat Out to Help Out” is part of a £30bn mini-Budget package designed to “protect, support and create jobs,” announced Wednesday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Other economy-aiding measures include slashed value-added tax (VAT) for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry, a ‘Kickstart’ jobs scheme for young people and bonuses for furloughed workers back at work.
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