10.5 million meals claimed under ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme

Some 10,540,394 million meals have been claimed under the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, according to new research from HMRC.

Will Broome, founder and CEO of retail tech firm Ubamarket, said that with 83,068 restaurants now having signed up to the scheme the figures from the first week are “very promising for the sector”, as well as the “huge” people that are employed within it.

He added that the success is of “particular pertinence”, as Government figures have shown that 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and that 1.4 million workers were furloughed – the highest proportions of any sector.

The scheme has also triggered an increase in the number of people visiting shopping centres and high streets across the country. Retail analysts Springboard reported that the number of people in retail destinations after 6pm last Monday, which was the first day of the scheme, was 19% higher than the previous week.

The number of visitors during lunch hours between 12pm and 2pm also rose by 9.6%. Over last week as a whole, visitor numbers at high streets, malls and retail parks rose 3.8% from the week before. High streets saw the largest increase, with footfall up 4.5%.

Broome said: “As we move into the second week of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, it seems clear that it has already had a positive impact for the hospitality sector. The noticeably increased footfall will no doubt give struggling hospitality venues a much-needed boost and bodes well for the future of the sector.”

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