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Eat out to help out

(125 Posts)
Esspee Mon 24-Aug-20 07:07:35

We have been using the government subsidy of 50% off to help keep some lovely local restaurants in business this month.
With only one exception we have had great experiences and feel much more “upbeat” as a result of forcing ourselves back into normality. We have treated the three days a week treat as a little holiday and feel all the better for it.

At the beginning of the month there was no difficulty getting reservations but we can’t find any favourite restaurants with tables available for tomorrow so I reckon it has been a success.

The offer is still running Monday, Tuesday Wednesday this week and Monday next week. Why not treat yourselves, if bookings are still available in your area?

devonnanny Mon 24-Aug-20 07:16:23

This reads like a party political broadcast for the Tory party...apologies if it is just a genuine post. I think the Eat Out to Help Out policy was both irresponsible and a disgraceful use of government funds. The number of people using foodbanks both before and during this crisis is ever increasing partly due to inadequate benefit levels and exacerbated by asking people to self isolate on £95.85 a week. I'm sure those unable to afford to shop for food felt even more marginalised by the constant reporting of those who can afford to eat out being subsidised to do so.

vegansrock Mon 24-Aug-20 07:20:59

Does anyone not know about this? It’s been running for 3 weeks already. Ok it’s nice having money off your bill, but I Don’t think it should have been extended to chains like McDonalds and Nando’s, maybe just Independent local pubs and restaurants, or maybe the money would have been better spent giving everyone £10 off your fruit and veg.

Jane10 Mon 24-Aug-20 07:23:06

I'm sure it was a genuine post. This scheme was to stimulate use of hospitality venues in order to try to save jobs in that field. Thousands of jobs were at risk. The small restaurant where my son works had already lost 7 jobs.
A knock on effect was to encourage people to come out of lockdown a little as many people had lost confidence. More people out and about spending money would help the economy to recover which would be of benefit to all.

Riverwalk Mon 24-Aug-20 07:24:51

I'm about as far from a Tory party supporter as you can get but I think this scheme has been a success and I'm glad to help out local eateries.

It's not designed to be a subsidy for those who can afford to eat out, it's to help the hospitality sector which is on its knees. High streets will be in an even more dire state if pubs, cafes & restaurants close down. There's a place near me which hasn't re-opened after lockdown - it's boarded up with plain chipboard and of course that's attracted graffiti and it looks an eyesore.

devonnanny Mon 24-Aug-20 07:34:49

I appreciate the points made about jobs within the hospitality industry but doubt that a scheme due to run for 13 days in total will have saved many jobs. A number of people currently going out don't anticipate continuing to do so as virus numbers are now increasing again and see it more as something they are doing in the short term whilst they feel relatively safe. It is also worth remembering that although restaurants have benefited from increased numbers on those days they have also had the administrative burden of claiming the government subsidy back on behalf of the customers who have already received it - no additional government money is being directed at the hospitality trade itself.

Harris27 Mon 24-Aug-20 07:43:22

Yes we tried to ring around last week and all bookings were full.

Jane10 Mon 24-Aug-20 07:49:05

devonanny this scheme most certainly has saved many businesses round here. Getting back to being fully booked has been an enormous help after the months of closure and uncertainty of any continuation. New customers are already booking up for non discount days and DS is very pleased at people returning to old habits of eating out. Just what he hoped would happen. All socially distanced etc of course.
Pour as much cold water or scorn on this as you like but it's made a considerable and much appreciated difference at the sharp end of the hospitality industry.

devonnanny Mon 24-Aug-20 08:04:18

Jane10 I am pleased your DS has benefited from the scheme and believes it will have long term benefits, I guess we will need to wait for an update in 7 or 8 weeks time to confirm if this is the case. I am not pouring scorn on the hospitality industry but strongly feel that it is important to ensure that everyone can afford to eat as a priority when allocating government spending and too many in this country do not have a bare minimum.

Jane10 Mon 24-Aug-20 08:11:48

More people in work = more people able to afford to eat.

Esspee Mon 24-Aug-20 08:26:06

We were motivated to try eating out again by the idea of getting something back from the government after all the taxes we are paying in.
Up until then we had only gone out together and for essential groceries with one garden visit each to some of our friends and family.
By braving a “public” outing, and finding it far more safe and pleasant as we did, we are now more confident about trying to resume (the new normal) life.
It is a treat having meals prepared after so long in lockdown and the staff in each restaurant have been really delighted to see us.
So, I am neither a Tory or rich. I just thought some of you would like to try giving your spirits a boost.
(We are opting for Lamb Tagine tonight. Should work out at £9 a head?)

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 24-Aug-20 08:43:12

We have done this once in one of our favourite restaurants, but wouldn’t do it again, as didn’t feel 100 percent safe. Too busy. I also think once is enough. We can afford to pay normal rates, so think we should. We’ll eat out again, but when less busy. I agree the money perhaps shouldn’t have gone to the big “ boys”, but to independent businesses and food banks, which we also support.

gillybob Mon 24-Aug-20 08:46:16

I can’t understand why you think McDonalds etc. Shouldn’t be allowed to take part in the scheme vegansrock ?

Eating out shouldn’t just benefit those able to afford to eat out in fancy restaurants and posh bistros etc.? With nothing for the young (and not so young) hardworking families For whom a trip to McDonalds is a real treat .

I wonder how many will still eat out to help when the scheme ends ?

Maggiemaybe Mon 24-Aug-20 08:47:01

We’ve used the scheme to eat at four local places, ranging from a small coffee shop (twice) to a pub to two small restaurants. It’s eased us back into a more normal way of life and it’s helped our local businesses out too. Living in one of the areas of the North West affected by extra restrictions, it’s been lovely to eat a lunchtime sandwich outside with members of our family, when we’re no longer allowed even to have a cuppa together in the garden. Perhaps bear in mind as well that some who cannot normally afford to eat out might just have been able to for a few short days this month?

As for it being an administrative burden on businesses - joining the scheme wasn’t obligatory and I doubt that any would if they felt it wasn’t going to be of benefit to them.

annodomini Mon 24-Aug-20 09:07:01

We benefited indirectly from the scheme because it was remarkably easy to book a table at our local gastro pub on Friday. They had been booked up early in the week. We had a lovely meal in a well organised restaurant and the bar below looked well spaced.

lemongrove Mon 24-Aug-20 09:11:06

Esspee is a genuine GN poster and is simply recommending the experience of eating out and also saving money.I think it’s a good idea too, we haven’t done it but friends have, and report back that they felt safe and felt better for doing it.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 24-Aug-20 09:20:37

We are back to our pre Covid routine of eating out on a Wednesday and Friday, one little step back to normality

Esspee Mon 24-Aug-20 09:25:56

Thanks Lemongrove I wasn't too bothered about being accused of not being genuine but to be called a Tory is beyond the pale. [Grin]

cornergran Mon 24-Aug-20 09:28:47

A young family close to us struggle to fund eating out, the scheme allowed them to have one rare McDonalds meal. The children were so excited, Mum and Dad enjoyed their excitement and not needing to cook at home. It was a treat for them all.

TerriBull Mon 24-Aug-20 09:30:31

Have to confess we've been doing it every Tuesday since it was introduced, usually at nice gastro pubs with outside areas and space between the tables. Something previously taken for granted now finding those lunches something to look forward to. If the scheme ends, and assuming there are no nasty directives in the pipeline, we will continue cautiously. Just praying and keeping fingers crossed for all businesses right now facing such tough times.

TerriBull Mon 24-Aug-20 09:33:55

I also think if you pick your times after the rush of lunchtime and the start of early evening, we've been eating mid afternoons, many places are quieter at non peak hours. There are still a few people, but not so many as to feel crammed up against each other.

Petera Mon 24-Aug-20 09:34:56

I must admit we have used it once; we took out grandson and, as we were leaving my DP said to him "Thanks ....., you'll be paying for this with your taxes"

Greciangirl Mon 24-Aug-20 09:42:43

I was supposed to have a birthday celebration this week at a well known hotel,
Unfortunately, my grandchildren have just come back from France and have to be quarantined. So they won’t be coming.
My Dd and partner is unwell, but we have no choice, we have to go otherwise we lose the £80 deposit paid.
Also, hoping to sit outside to eat, but the weather forecast tomorrow is horrendous so will have to go inside now.
It’s not what I’d planned at all.

edsnana Mon 24-Aug-20 09:43:07

devonnanny I couldn't agree more! We found ourselves benefitting from this by accident when we had taken grandchildren out and when my daughter and I went out for lunch. I have donated the money we saved to a local food bank

schnackie Mon 24-Aug-20 09:44:48

I have taken advantage of this scheme in my local town and found restaurants I didn't know existed! All of the meals were delicious and the price point was a huge factor in my case. But I'll remember those places in future for big splurge meals!