Eat Out to Help Out Restaurant List delayed

The list of participating restaurants in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been delayed.

On 9 July, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a new scheme that would offer diners 50% off meals in August.

This scheme was designed to  ‘help get the economy moving’ and to specifically assist the UK’s hospitality businesses.

Restaurants were asked to register for the scheme online from 13 July and once registered, they would be ‘refunded’ the cost of the discount they pass onto their customers during August within 5 working days.

The scheme is reported to be costing the Government £500million.

The list of participating restaurants was due to be released on the Government’s website this week, but has been delayed.  The site now states,

The service you’ll use to find a restaurant is not available yet. It will be available by 31 July.

Many people hoping to use the scheme are frustrated with the delay, saying that it now means they cannot plan ahead.  Sarah from Summertown in Oxford said:

“With a family of four and a busy schedule, we were hoping to get online this week and book a few dinners in order to help our local restaurants.  Now, with the delay, it looks like we will have to scramble at the last minute.”

Small businesses are also wondering whether the delay will affect bookings earlier in August.  A restaurant owner Gi Media spoke to is concerned the delay is actually causing many people to hold off booking.  He explained:

“We are already seeing people hold off on making bookings in August until more information on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is released.  The fact that this information is now delayed means we will probably see lower booking numbers in that first week or two than we would have if they released the information when they said they would.”

The Government says they will meet the extended deadline of 31 July and when restaurants are listed, customers will be able to see available restaurants within a 2 mile radius of their postcode.

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