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Coronavirus: A customers’ guide to the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme

During August 2020, eligible restaurants will be able to offer a 50% discount for food eaten on their premises on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, up to a maximum amount of £10 per diner.
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A birdseye view of a dining table with 4 people eating burgers.

As things change rapidly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, this guide will be updated regularly to reflect changes in rules and regulations.

The month-long scheme is designed to provide a boost to the restaurant and leisure sectors, which have been hit particularly hard by the impact of government measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus. 

Consider a credit card as a way to spread the cost of your spending

How will the scheme work?

The discount will apply all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020. Service charges will not be included in any discount.

You will not need to obtain any vouchers, the discount will be applied automatically at participating restaurants when you come to pay your bill.

An example:

A group of four (2 adults and 2 kids) spend a total of £60 on their meals. This includes £10 on alcoholic drinks. A 10% service charge is then added onto the bill.

So that’s a total bill (before applying the discount) of £66.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Updated 27 July 2020
Bill before service charge and discount£60.00
Amount spent on alcohol£10.00
Service charge£6.00
Total bill£66.00
Amount that discount can be applied to£50.00
Discount to customers (50% of 50)£25.00
Bill after discount is applied£41.00

The total discount is £25 (50% of £50), which adds up to £6.25 per diner and is therefore below the £10 per diner cap.

Where there’s more than one diner on a single bill, the £10 cap does not need to be calculated based specifically on what each person ordered. The discount applied to the overall bill should be capped at the number of diners, multiplied by £10.

The example in the table above does not break down the amount that each customer ordered, simply the number of customers.

HM Treasury has said that there will be no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer while the scheme is in force.

You will not be able to get the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount on any alcohol or tobacco products you buy at an eligible business’s premises.

Which outlets will offer the discount? 

The government has now launched a new Eat Out to Help Out tool, to enable people to see what restaurants are participating in the scheme. 

You simply have to put in a postcode of the destination you would like to eat in, and then the site will display restaurants within a two mile radius.

These include:

  • Restaurants

  • Cafés

  • Pubs that serve food

  • Hotel restaurants

  • Food outlets in shopping centres with a designated dining area (even if shared with other businesses)

  • Restaurants and/or cafés within tourist attractions

  • Restaurants and/or cafés within leisure facilities

  • Dining rooms within private members’ clubs

  • Workplace and school canteens (where the diner pays for their food)

Examples of places where you will not be able to get the discount include:

  • Food vans and trucks which do not offer a dedicated seating area for customers consuming food

  • Businesses that only sell takeaway food (not to be eaten at the premises)

  • Hotels that only provide room service

Over the coming weeks, diners will begin seeing promotional posters in shop fronts, and in adverts highlighting the discount scheme.

With over 32,000 restaurants, cafes and pubs signed up to participate in the scheme, there is sure to be something for everyone.

The government has detailed guidance on how the scheme will work for both customers and business owners on the GOV.UK site.

Michelin Stars Guide

To celebrate the launch of the new scheme, money.co.uk has rounded up a list of the Michelin Star restaurants participating. 

From traditional British roasts, to authentic Chinese dishes, these restaurants are bound to offer diners with a delicious welcome back to fine dining. 

The government has detailed guidance on how the scheme will work for both customers and business owners on the GOV.UK site.


As social distancing restrictions remain in place, restaurants are mainly requesting that customers go cashless. Where possible, it is best to make a contactless payment, to help adhere to social distancing measures.

For more information on how to keep your wallet and cards when you are out, visit our useful guide: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/can-you-get-coronavirus-from-your-wallet.htm

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