UK’s Dining Out Scheme Successful in Supporting Hospitality Sector
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Even as Britain emerges out of lockdown and gets back towards normal economic activity, domestic consumption remains cautious amid rising unemployment and consumers wary of stepping out for fear of contracting the virus. In a bid to spur consumption, the government had introduced a scheme to offer discounts for eating out at restaurants.
The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme was expected to support a rebound in activity in the country’s hospitality sector, which has been one of the hardest hit in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing lockdowns. Under the scheme, the government was offering 50% off on meals at participating restaurants during the first three days of the week to consumers and offering to pay the difference to the restaurants.
While the initiative did turn out to be successful, it draws to a close at the end of this month. According to finance minister Rishi Sunak, the program was rolled out to protect the jobs of 1.8 million workers in the hospitality sector and support Britain’s economic recovery.
Despite the scheme ending, Sunak urged consumers to continue eating out to support economic recovery. As per estimates by PM Boris Johnson, about 80% of companies in the hospitality sector stopped trading in April and the sector sent around 1.4 million of its workers on furlough – the highest in any sector across Britain.