DINERS will be able to bag half price meals when they eat at a pub, restaurant or cafe in August – thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
This summer, the government will pay for half the bill, up to £10 per head, for your meal and any soft drinks.
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The new incentive aims to get Brits back to the pubs to boost the economy and save jobs in the hospitality sector, which has suffered huge blows as a result of the pandemic.
It’s part of a wider £30billion package to help the country’s finances recover after three months of lockdown, as businesses navigate new Covid-19 challenges.
Before offering the discount, eateries must register with the scheme, which is open to all businesses that have a dine-in area.
This includes big high street chains as well as independent food outlets, which will also benefit from a 15 per cent cut to VAT from next week.
The discount can also be used on top of other promotions so it will knock some serious cash off the bill this summer.
These are the brands that have so far said they will be signing up to the scheme when it officially launches:
Just hours after the Chancellor announced the scheme, Burger King boss Alasdair Murdoch has said that the chain will be signing up.
He promised customers could get half price Whoppers Monday to Wednesday in August.
It would cut the cost of the chain’s flagship burger down to £2.25, from £4.49.
Speaking on the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast podcast, he said: “We’ll certainly be embracing it, as long as we can understand the terms and conditions and work them out.
“But I would think it’s extremely likely that we would do it.”
At the moment, Burger King is only open for drive-thru and takeaway orders so it would only be able to offer the discount if it reopened restaurants to let diners sit inside to eat their meal.
Unfortunately, and despite the measures, he also warned that the pandemic could force the chain to permanently close 10 per cent of its stores, putting 1,600 jobs at risk.
The American-Italian restaurant chain told The Sun that it will also be knocking 50 per cent off the bill in August thanks to the scheme.
It means that a Lasagne Al Forno, which normally costs £9.95, would set you back just £4.98.
The food chain has struggled due to the pandemic, and has announced that 125 of its restaurants won’t reopen, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.
The future of 85 sites remains in the balance while negotiations on rent reductions and revised leases takes place.
It will be reopening six branches for dine-ins from July 13. These are located in Chesterfield, Doncaster, Dudley, Lincoln, Merryhill, Peterborough Boongate.
Mitchells & Butlers, the firm behind Harvester and Toby Carvery, has said that it is planning on registering with the scheme in the summer.
Prices vary depending on which Harvester restaurant you go to, but a classic beef burger and chips would typically cost you £10.99 but under the initiative it will set you back just £5.50.
Harvester reopened “the majority” of its 150 restaurants in England on July 4.
You can find your nearest open one by using its branch finder tool.
The Portuguese chicken house has said that it will be registering with the scheme too, meaning half price food for fans.
We did a comparison of how it will change the cost of your cheeky Nando’s based on prices at a London restaurant.
It would slash the cost of halloumi sticks and dip to £1.98, down from £3.95, and half a chicken plus corn on the cob and chips will cost £5.60, down from £11.20.
The deal will be available to use on top of other promotions, so you will still be able to collect Nando’s points when you order – and claim that free chicken burger.
Pizza Hut has said that it will also be registering for the initiative so hungry pizza fans can enjoy half price meals.
Prices vary depending on the restaurant that you go to, but a pepperoni meat feast in London will typically set you back £11.79.
But under the scheme, the same meal would cost just £5.85.
The half price offer can also be applied on top of other discounts and promotions that the chain is running.
Pizza Hut is currently running an individual meal deal offer that includes two courses for £15.99, but it would cost £7.50 under the new scheme.
The firm that owns Toby Carvery, Mitchell’s and Butlers, says that it will be signing up its most popular brands to the scheme, including the family favourite.
Prices vary depending on the restaurant, but typically a roast dinner costs £8.99 – and now under the scheme it will set you back just £4.50.
You can use the discount on top of other promotions that the chain is running which will cut the price of your meal even further.
For example, Toby Carvery is currently offering diners 25 per cent off their meals if they sign up to the chain’s newsletter.
If you applied both of the deals to the price of your roast, it will be slashed to just £3.38.
Due to the new government rules, customers won’t be able to serve themselves at its famous buffets – instead chefs will plate it up for them.
Fans of Japanese-inspired food will be able to bag half price meals at one of its 135 restaurants throughout of August.
A chicken katsu curry and regular glass of fresh juice would normally cost you £13.25 (£9.75, £3.50) but under the Eat Out to Help Out initiative it would cost you just £6.63.
Wagamama has started a phased reopening of branches and hopes to have at least 18 open again by the end of July.
It then plans to welcome back customers at the remaining restaurants throughout August and September.
You can take a look at what Wagamama restaurants look like now that they’re Covid-19 secure, including a reduced menu.