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Eat out to help out

Posted: 21st Aug 2020 by Hunter Gee Holroyd Business Advice General, Coronavirus

In an attempt to kick start the hospitality industry, earlier this month the government introduced the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The scheme will run until the 31st August and will provide diners with a 50% discount on food purchases up to a maximum of £10 per diner. The Eat Out to Help Out discount can then be recovered from the government by the restaurant.

  • The scheme can be used every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • There is no limit on the number of times a diner can claim the discount during the scheme
  • The scheme only covers meals for consumption on the premises and does not include the cost of alcoholic beverages or service charges
  • Meals provided as part of a wider hospitality package are also excluded from the scheme
  • Takeaways, mobile food vans and catering services for private functions are also excluded

How do I register?

Registration for the scheme should be made through your Government Gateway account. If you have multiple establishments you must register all of the premises at the same time. It will not be possible to add an establishment later. Registration for the scheme will close on 31st August.

On registration you will receive a registration reference number and your business will be added to the online list of participating establishments. You should wait until you are registered before offering discounts through the scheme.

Once registered it is expected that you will apply the scheme discount on all qualifying sales of food and drink on eligible days.

You will need to reference the Eat Out to Held Out Scheme on the bill when you offer a discount.

How does it work?

For each day you use the scheme you will need to record the total number of participating diners, the total value of transactions made under the scheme and the amount of discounts given.

The discount will be recovered from the government through the scheme’s claim service. You must wait at least 7 days after registration to make your first claim. Claims can then be made on a weekly basis. Eligible claims will be paid within 5 working days. The claim service will close on 30th September.

VAT will need to be paid on the full amount of the customer’s bill and the refunds you receive will need to be declared as part of your taxable profits.

If you require any further information on the scheme or would like assistance with how the discount works, please contact our Tax Team on 01904 655202 or email