Eat Out to Help Out

The scheme is designed to incentivize customers to eat in restaurants or other eating establishments between Mondays and Wednesdays from 3rd to 31st August 2020 by giving them a discount (of 50% capped, to £10 per person,) which such businesses can then claim back from the Government. The scheme is UK wide and customers will be able to see who is taking part on GOV.UK.

How to register for the scheme?
HMRC have made registration as simple as possible. To find out how to register, click here.
HMRC has confirmed that agents cannot apply on businesses’ behalf.

Which businesses are eligible?
Eligible establishments are those in which food and non-alcoholic drinks are sold for immediate on-premises consumption. This could include:

  • Restaurants.
  • Cafes.
  • Public houses that serve food.
  • Hotel restaurants.
  • Restaurants and cafes within tourist attractions, holiday sites and leisure facilities.
  • Dining rooms within members’ clubs.
  • Workplace and school canteens.

Establishments who have submitted an application to operate a food business to the relevant local authority on or before 7 July 2020, are eligible for the scheme.

How is the discount applied?
The discount can be applied to food and/or non-alcoholic drinks purchased for immediate consumption on the premises, up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner (inclusive of VAT).
There is no minimum spend requirement.
The discount cannot be applied to alcoholic drinks, tobacco products, food or drink that is to be consumed off premises, or food or drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function taking place within an eligible establishment.

When should the discount be offered?
When eligible businesses register for the scheme, they are expected to offer it during the whole of their opening hours on all the eligible days that they are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.
Under this scheme, the discount should only be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
If a customer is dining in and then takes away the remainder of their meal, the discount will still apply.

What counts as ‘on premises’ consumption?
For the purposes of this scheme, the term ‘on premises’ means any area set aside for the consumption of food or non-alcoholic drink by that establishment’s customers, whether or not that area may also be used by the customers of other establishments.
To be eligible businesses must have the facility to offer dining on the premises. Establishments with only informal outside seating in an area that does not belong to the establishment and/or is not shared with other establishments, will not be eligible to participate in the scheme.

Offering the discount
Service charge is not included in the scheme discount. The reduction only applies to spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks.
The scheme can be used alongside other offers and discounts that are normally offered.
To calculate the value of the transaction and make a claim to HMRC, businesses must first apply any special offers, vouchers or discount schemes they might be promoting or accepting and deduct any service charge.
Businesses cannot change the terms of the scheme, the discount offered must be 50%, subject to the maximum of £10 per person.

What counts as a ‘diner’?
A diner is any person, adult or child, for whom food or drink is being purchased for consumption on premises. A diner does not need to be the paying customer.

Applying the £10 per person cap to a single bill

Where there is more than one diner on a single bill, the cap does not need to be calculated for each individual diner based on their specific orders. Instead, the discount that is applied to the overall bill should be capped at the number of diners multiplied by £10.
HMRC are helping restaurants by providing:

  • Guidance on how to register on GOV.UK
  • Free live webinars which explain how the scheme works, provides examples and allows you to ask questions.
  • YouTube video explaining how the scheme works.
  • Webchat service – available from 13 July 2020.
  • A dedicated helpline for restaurants – available from 13 July 2020.
  • Guidance on how to make a claim on gov.uk.

Businesses can download free materials to help them promote the scheme. HMRC will also send restaurants who register a display sticker so people can see they are participating. The government will also promote the scheme using radio, media and advertising. Restaurants and establishments who have registered will be published on GOV.UK so the public can see who is taking part.

How can we help?
Please contact us if you need any support or guidance and as usual and we will endeavor to help.