Diners across the UK have enjoyed around 100 million discounted meals as part of the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme – with 65,000 meals in North Swindon alone.
The country’s hospitality industry was particularly badly hit by the COVID lockdown, with 2 million jobs at risk. In order to help build public confidence, and encourage people to return to pubs, cafes and restaurants, the Government offered a 50% discount on meals throughout August.
The latest figures show that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme significantly boosted restaurant bookings during the month of August, with the scheme growing in popularity each week. On 31 August - the final day of the scheme - bookings were up 216% compared to the same day in 2019.
Early signs show that despite ending, the scheme has continued to boost demand, with a 2 per cent rise in restaurant bookings on Tuesday 1 September compared to the equivalent day in 2019, according to OpenTable.
Justin Tomlinson said: “Building public confidence and encouraging people back into restaurants, cafes and pubs was vital – I am very pleased with the success of the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme, and hope that people continue to enjoy the many fantastic restaurants, cafes and pubs across the country.”