What is the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and how will it work?

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BRITS will get 50 per cent off their pub and restaurant bills from today with the new Eat Out to Help out scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the money-saving initiative in a bid to boost the struggling tourism industry and economy.

The government will subsidise food bills if you dine out Monday to Wednesday in August

Eat Out To Help Out will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week until August 31.

The government will cover the other half of the bill, up to £10 per head, to boost the hospitality industry post-coronavirus lockdown.

The discount includes soft drinks and children’s meals too, although it won’t cover any booze ordered to go with your food.

It will see an £80 bill for a family of four reduced to just £40.

The incentive is part of a mini-Budget package to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a host of new measures in the mini-budget July 8

A leisure scheme like this has never been tried before in the UK, with the Chancellor telling the Commons that the “moment is unique” and calls on policymakers to be “creative”.

Mr Sunak added: “So, to get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs, and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them, I can announce today that, for the month of August, we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out to Help Out discount.”

How will the scheme work and do I need a voucher?

The government will cover half of the cost of the meal out, up to £10 a head, including children.

The discount means that a meal out for two that costs £20 will be reduced to £10, but a £25 meal for two will be slashed to £15 because of the £10 cap per person.

There is no limit to the number of times you can use the discount, so in theory you can get half price meals on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.

Businesses will need to register with the scheme on Gov.uk before being able to offer the discount, as well as be Food Standards Agency approved.

Instead of issuing discount vouchers – which the government felt increased the risk of fraud – restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to claim back the cash.

The refund will then be transferred into restaurants, cafes and pubs’ bank accounts within five working days.

Customers will only receive the discount if they eat out at a registered business.

Where will you get the discount?

Any hospitality business that serves meals can sign up to the scheme, including high street chains and independently run eateries.

Hungry diners will only get money off the bill if they eat out on the quietest days of the week throughout August – Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme won’t apply on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday or Sundays.

The scheme will begin today and run through until August 31.

The discount will only count towards meals eaten out, so you’ll still have to pay full price for your takeaway if you order it from a restaurant.

And remember you will have to pay the full whack if you eat at a restaurant or pub that hasn’t registered with the scheme.

How will the announcement help the economy?

It’s believed it will breathe life into the UK tourism and leisure industries too, which has suffered huge blows throughout the pandemic.

Eight in 10 workers in the accommodation and food services sector have been furloughed, according to the Office for National Statistics.