The UK Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ (EOTHO) scheme saw diners spend 34.2% more at restaurants and fast food outlets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August than they did in July.
This is according to new data from Barclaycard, which showcased the “success” of the Government scheme. In addition, with businesses able to claim back the discounts given during the scheme (up to £10 per diner), revenues will reportedly be boosted even further.
The number of transactions also grew by 33.7% during the month. However, the average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained fairly stable, rising from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August, indicating that the discount encouraged diners to order more food and non-alcoholic drinks – in order to spend roughly the same amount overall.
Thursdays to Sundays in August also saw strong growth compared to July, with total spending in restaurants and fast food outlets up 33%. While Sunday remained the most popular day to head out for food in August, trading on Wednesdays saw the biggest uplift during EOTHO, with spend growing by 39.7 % month-on-month.
The offer, which launched on 1 August, was originally devised by British chancellor Rishi Sunak, in a bid to support hospitality businesses following a long period of closure during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It allowed diners to receive up to 50% of their meal if they chose to sit in and eat their food at a restaurant.
Rob Cameron, CEO of barclays payments, said: “It’s clear that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.”
He added: “Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise.
“Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.”