Deliveroo and 300 restaurant groups have urged the government to reimplement the Eat Out to Help Out scheme (EOTHO) when the hospitality sector eventually reopens.
According to the delivery service, the 50% discount scheme which was first launched last August by chancellor Rishi Sunak would help support struggling restaurants that have been affected by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
The suggestion is one of many other support measures outlined by the delivery service which have been written in a letter to PM Boris Johnson. In the letter CEO of Deliveroo Will Shu and some of its partners including Itsu and Pizza Hut said that restaurant businesses were under “immense financial pressure” due to the limited trading laws.
To protect the sector, the companies have also called for an extension to the VAT reduction on restaurant food until at least the end of 2021, and an extension to business rates relief for the retail and restaurant sectors for a further financial year.
In addition it has also been requested that the government looks to maintain the furlough scheme for as “long as necessary” and create a “targeted incentive for recruitment and retention within the restaurant sector”.
The letter read: “Sadly, the turning of the calendar year has not affected the course of the virus. Restaurant businesses remain closed for dine-in services and under immense financial pressure.
“Even when they are able to reopen to customers, restrictions around mixing of households and social distancing measures mean that a return to trading at full capacity will remain dependent on the successful vaccine rollout. “
It added: “To protect jobs in the restaurant sector it is critical that the government continues to provide financial and practical support during this period. The withdrawal of support too early or too suddenly risks viable businesses failing just as the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming clearer.”