The scheme, which was designed to give struggling hospitality businesses a financial boost during the pandemic, saw foodies across the country dine out for a fraction of the usual cost.
The Government picked up 50 per cent of the bill (up to £10 per person) three days a week throughout August.
Figures released today from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs show that more than 106 million meals were claimed for across the UK, totalling over £611 million.
Diners in Doncaster claimed 536,000 meals across 223 restaurants under the scheme.
This provided an average discount of £5.16 per meal.
The total amount claimed by Doncaster businesses was £2,768,000. This resulted in restaurants claiming an average of £12,400.
Regionally, 5,032 restaurants in Yorkshire claimed for 9,360,000 meals. This equaled £52,798,000 in discount claimed.
Outlets claimed an average of £10,500 and diners saved an average £5.64 per meal.
The data only includes registered businesses with fewer than 25 outlets.
UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said although the scheme was a “welcome boost” to businesses, more now needs to be done by the Government to help businesses through the new national lockdown.
Ms Nicholls said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme is now unfortunately a deep and distant memory in light of the subsequent restrictions and enforced closures suffered by so many businesses.
“These numbers highlight how the sector grabbed this opportunity and played its part in rebuilding customer confidence in eating and drinking out and helped power the wider economy.
“Hospitality can play this role again and is desperate to do so once restrictions are lifted by offering safe and controlled environments for consumers to come back together.
“But we need further support from the Government, including a continuation of measures such as the VAT cut and business rates holiday, in order to revitalise the economy this year and beyond.”
HM Treasury said the scheme brought back over 400,000 people from furlough but did not specify whether it, or something similar, would return in the future.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we have worked with creativity and at pace to support individuals and businesses.
“We designed The Eat Out to Help Out scheme to protect 2 million jobs in hospitality, an industry whose employees are at high risk of long-term unemployment in the event of redundancy.
“It protected jobs across the UK by bringing back 400,000 people from furlough whilst safely restoring consumer confidence.”
Background from HM Treasury:
1.Eat Out to Help Out helped bring back 400,000 people back from furlough
Throughout August, Eat Out to Help Out protected jobs as over 400,000 people returned from furlough – a 42% reduction in furloughed staff in the food and services sector.
2.SMEs strongly benefitted from Eat Out to Help Out
93% of claims (208,000) came from businesses with just one outlet registered
99% from businesses with 1-5 outlets (221,000)
Less than 1% of claims were from businesses with more than 25 outlets
3.Eat Out to Help Out restored consumer confidence
The number of claims and values of claims went up each week of the scheme, which aligns with Open Table data of increasing consumer confidence:
in the period 3-5th August, there were 26.6 million meals claimed for
by 24th-26th there were 44.5 million meals claimed for.
Open Table data showed that in the final full week of the scheme, seated diner numbers were up 65% compared to 2019 and up 95% on EOHO days.
The data also shows that EOHO helped sustain the sector post August – as September figures shows September consumption was similar to 2019 with Covid-secure measures in restaurants in place.
4.Eat Out to Help Out benefitted those at risk of long term unemployment
Employees under 25 are over twice as likely to have worked in a sector that has been shut down than other employees [IFS – “Sector shutdowns during the coronavirus crisis: which workers are most exposed?]
Employees in the hospitality industry are more likely to not have a degree or higher qualification, putting them at greater risk of greater risk of long-term unemployment issues [ONS, Graduates in the UK Labour market, 2017]
18% of employees are from black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds, which compares to 13% from all industries (ONS Annual Population Survey 2019).
It employs more women than men, 56% and 44% respectively. [ONS Labour Force Survey, June 2020, Graduates in the UK Labour market, 2017]
There are around 130,000 businesses that were eligible for Eat Out to Help Out. This includes 85-90% of pubs that serve food, in a sector that is a major employer, supporting 1.8 million jobs disproportionately occupied by young, female, part-time workers, in the bottom half of incomes (ONS Annual Business Survey 2018; ONS Business Register and Employment Survey 2018; ONS Annual Population Survey 2019; ONS Labour Force Survey, June 2020; ONS, Graduates in the UK Labour market, 2017; ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019).
5.Eat Out to Help Out was designed in a safe and responsible way.
Prior to reopening on 4 July, the government led the Pubs and Restaurant Taskforce to produce Covid-secure workplace guidance for the hospitality sector.
This taskforce consisted of industry, trade unions, officials from BEIS, the Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England; and the guidance was signed-off by all parties.
We focused on keeping customers and visitors safe, including guidance on taking customer details for Test and Trace; maximum group sizes (rule of six from 14 September); informing customers of guidance through signage; maximising ventilation; and other mitigants e.g. lowering max capacity, one-way systems and staggering entry times.