Eat Out to Help Out: How to register and how it works

Updated: 21 July 2020

The Government has launched a discount scheme to help hospitality businesses recover from the coronavirus interruption. The Eat Out to Help Out initiative is designed to encourage people to dine in on the days of the week that are usually quieter.

The scheme is one of the measures introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Summer Update on 8 July.

For customers: How it works

From your customers’ point of view, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is simple:

Eat Out to Help Out logo

  • runs from 3 – 31 August
  • valid all day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • get 50% off the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks, up to a maximum of £10 per person
  • find a participating business by looking for a sign in the window, or by typing a postcode into the online finder (which will go live in late July)

That’s it. They don’t need a voucher or code.

Business owners: how it works

When you register for the scheme, you can offer your customers the discount on eat-in food and non-alcoholic drinks, and claim the money back from the Government. Alcoholic drinks and service charges are excluded.

If you’re usually closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays – the days the discount is offered – that’s fine, but you must only offer the discount on those days, you can’t transfer the discount to another day.

Both registration and claiming are done online, and the Government website lists what you need to be able to register, and what records you need to keep so you claim.

To see how to apply the discount to bills, have a look at the examples on the Government website: | More information about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

The Government are also running a free webinar on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 July for you to find out what’s involved. To sign up for the webinar, follow the link on this page: | Help and support | Eat Out to Help Out

Is your business eligible?

You can register for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme if you’ve used other schemes, such as the Job Retention Scheme, the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, or your business had a Government coronavirus grant.

Your business can register if:

  • you sell food for eating immediately on your premises
  • you have your own dining area or share a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals (this can be inside or outside)
  • you were registered as a food business with your local council on or before 7 July 2020

You can’t register if your business…

  • only does takeaway food or drink
    or is a mobile food van or trailer
    This is because the scheme is designed to encourage eating in.
  • is a catering service for private functions
  • is a hotel that only does room service
  • is a dining service, such as dinner cruises

If you’re not sure if your business is eligible to register, check the list of examples at the Government website: | More information about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Business owners: How to register and claim

You must register before you offer the discount to customers, and you can only offer the discount from 3 to 31 August 2020.

Follow the instructions on the Government website: | Register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Registration is open until 31 August 2020.

To claim for reimbursement, you’ll use an online portal on the Government website – this will open from 7 August 2020.

Have your say

Will your business register for this scheme? How has the coronavirus crisis affected your company? We’re keen to hear from you – get in touch with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

Photo from HM Government

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer