Eat Out to Help Out: How many meals were claimed for in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley under Rishi Sunak’s scheme last summer?
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The scheme, which was designed to give struggling hospitality businesses a financial boost during the pandemic, saw foodies across the country dine out for a fraction of the usual cost.
The Government picked up 50% of the bill (up to £10 per person) three days a week throughout August.
Figures released this week from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs show that more than 106 million meals were claimed for across the UK, totalling over £611 million.
Diners in Burnley claimed 145,000 meals across 72 restaurants under the scheme.
This provided an average discount of £5.39 per meal.
The total amount claimed by Burnley businesses was £784,000. This resulted in restaurants claiming an average of £10,900 per outlet.
Over in Pendle, diners claimed 121,000 meals across 72 restaurants working out at an average discount of £5.79 per meal.
The total amount claimed by Pendle businesses was £702,000, resulting in restaurants claiming an average of £11,200 per outlet.
Meanwhile, food lovers in the Ribble Valley claimed 149,000 meals across 93 restaurants under the scheme.
This provided an average discount of £6.07 per meal.
The total amount claimed by Ribble Valley businesses was £902,000. This resulted in restaurants claiming an average of £9,700 per outlet.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said although the scheme was a “welcome boost” to businesses, more now needs to be done by the Government to help businesses through the new national lockdown.
Ms Nicholls said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme is now unfortunately a deep and distant memory in light of the subsequent restrictions and enforced closures suffered by so many businesses.
“These numbers highlight how the sector grabbed this opportunity and played its part in rebuilding customer confidence in eating and drinking out and helped power the wider economy.
“Hospitality can play this role again and is desperate to do so once restrictions are lifted by offering safe and controlled environments for consumers to come back together.
“But we need further support from the Government, including a continuation of measures such as the VAT cut and business rates holiday, in order to revitalise the economy this year and beyond.”
HM Treasury said the scheme brought back over 400,000 people from furlough but did not specify whether it, or something similar, would return in the future.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we have worked with creativity and at pace to support individuals and businesses.
“We designed The Eat Out to Help Out scheme to protect 2 million jobs in hospitality, an industry whose employees are at high risk of long-term unemployment in the event of redundancy.
“It protected jobs across the UK by bringing back 400,000 people from furlough whilst safely restoring consumer confidence.”