Is Eat Out To Help Out still running and will it return?
8 September 2020, 12:06
Will Eat Out To Help Out come back and could it be extended?
Last month, the government's Eat Out To Help Out scheme allowed diners to claim 50 per cent off their restaurant meals between Monday and Wednesday.
The programme saw 100 million discounted meals served in the country, and many restaurants have made the decision to continue the scheme into September.
Despite calls from the industry to extend it, Eat Out To Help Out came to an end on 31 August - here's what we know about whether it will be extended.
Will Eat Out To Help Out come back?
There has been no suggestion that Eat Out To Help Out will be extended, but a recent report suggested that Rishi Sunak may be considering bringing it back next year.
According to The Sun, the Chancellor told Tory MPs that similar economy-boosting measures could be put in place in 2021.
The Chancellor is said to have told Tory MPs: "we know in the short term we can use the tax system to drive economic activity, and depending on how the shape of the recovery is we can look to do more of that."
The Sun quoted a Government insider as saying: "It was pretty clear he meant more Eat Out, everyone loves it."
According to the report, Rishi is said to have added: "From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.
"I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.
"The scheme is just one part of our plan for jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation."
And Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: "The Eat Out To Help Out scheme has been a great success for hospitality.
"Our members have reported very strong bookings throughout August at a time when the sector really needed a boost.“It has helped provide a lift in consumer confidence which is going to be key for hospitality businesses as they look to reopen and help rebuild the economy."
What restaurants are still doing Eat Out To Help Out?
Many restaurants have opted to continue the scheme at their own expense - see a full list of those taking part here.