The government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, designed to protect jobs and boost sales in the hard-hit hospitality sector is now coming to an end, with over 84,000 restaurants having signed up. As of midnight 27 August, over 100 million were discounted (costing up to £522 million), up from 64 million in the first three weeks, 35 million in the second and 10.5 million in the first, however, just how much is this helping the industry?
Reviewing the sales and discount figures across our cohort of restaurant and hospitality clients, figures show that there has been a slight overall increase in total weekly sales. Sales were however concentrated between Monday-Wednesday, with Thursday-Sunday seeing a reduction, but an overall increase from the week prior to the discount being applied.
Some operators have increased total weekly sales by extending the 50% discount through Thursday-Sunday, whilst others have offered an uncapped 50% discount. Following the success of the scheme, several operators have decided to extend discounts of their own throughout September, funding it themselves. A list of participating restaurants can be found here.
Data provided by OpenTable shows that during the third week of the scheme the number of customers dining at restaurants was 61% higher than the same days last year on average between Monday to Wednesday. The data also shows that the number of customers dining at restaurants in general was up 17% in comparison to the same week in 2019.
While Central London appeared to be the worst hit, regional restaurants benefitted far better from the scheme, with many restaurants having been fully booked out for weeks in advance for every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.
Specialist accountants to restaurants, bars and hotels, Jeffreys Henry LLP empowers hospitality entrepreneurs to achieve their business ambitions through award-winning accountancy, tax and advisory services.