Full details of Eat Out to Help Out 'voucher' scheme revealed, including 13 rules you have to follow

Full details of Eat Out to Help Out 'voucher' scheme revealed, including 13 rules you have to follow

July 9, 2020

BRITS will be able to get half price meals when they eat out at restaurants, cafes or pubs in August to boost the leisure and tourism industry.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was announced yesterday by the Chancellor and will see the government pick up 50 per cent of the bill.

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There is a cap of £10 per person, but it applies to all food and soft drinks orders that are eaten at the place that you bought them, including kids' meals.

It means that an £80 meal out for a family of four will be reduced to £40 under the plans.

The money-off meal deal will only be applied to food orders placed on Monday through to Wednesday next month, kicking off on August 3 and running through until August 31.

A leisure scheme like this has never been tried before in the UK, with the Chancellor telling the Commons that the coronavirus "moment is unique" and calls on policymakers to be "creative".

How will the Eat Out to Help Out scheme work?

THE government will cover half of the cost of the meal out, up to £10 a head, including children's meals.

The discount means that a meal out for two that costs £20 will be reduced to £10, but a £25 meal for two will be slashed to £15 because of the £10 cap per person.

There is no limit to the number of times you can use the discount, so in theory you can get half price meals on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.

Businesses will need to register with the scheme on Gov.uk before being able to offer the discount, as well as be Food Standards Agency approved.

Instead of issuing discount vouchers – which the government felt increased the risk of fraud – restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to claim back the cash.

The refund will then been transferred into restaurants, cafes and pubs' bank accounts within five working days.

Customers will only receive the discount if they eat out at a registered business.

More details of the incentive have been published today, including information on how businesses can register.

We've gone through the documents to find out exactly where you can and can't get the discount – here's everything you need to know.

1. Alcoholic drinks are not included

The discount can't be applied to alcoholic drink orders, so you'll have to pay full price for that.

But it doesn't mean that you have to buy your booze separately – the restaurant will simply take the money off the food and soft drinks that you bought.

2. It can be used in work and school canteens

Staff and pupils can use the scheme to get money off their lunch during the school day, as long as they sit in the canteen to eat it.

It means that workers who have to head back to the office can also use the discount too.

3. There's no limit to how many times you use it

You can use the discounts as many times as you like, as long as it's on orders made on Monday through to Wednesday in August.

That means you could get half price breakfast, lunch and dinner three days a week if you wanted to.

4. It can be used on top of other discounts

The offer can be used on top of other discounts that the eatery runs, such as two for one meal deals.

This will reduce your bill even more – check out our guide to all of the vouchers and discounts you can use to pay for your meal before the Eat Out to Help Out scheme launches in August.

5. You can get half price coffee

You can even get money off your coffee order as long as you sit in to drink it.

Customers will have to pay in full if they want a coffee to go.

How to calculate the bill

THE government will pay for half of your bill, up to £10 a head, when you eat out on certain days of the week in August.

To work out how much your bill will be after the discount is applied, you should start by adding together everything that you ordered.

You'll then need to take off any items that it doesn't cover, such as alcoholic drinks and the service charge.

Then, divide this by two to find out half of the bill.

What if it comes to more than £10 per head

To check that it comes under the £10 per head cap, divide it again by the number of people who are dining.

If it works out as more than this per person, then you'll need to multiply the number of people eating by £10.

You should then minus the answer from the total cost of the items that the discount can be applied to.

For example, four people eat out and the total bill that the discount can be applied to comes to £90.

Half of the bill would be £45, but that's more than the limit.

So you need to minus £40 (£10 per diner) from £90 to get the amount you will need to pay, which in this case is £50.

6. You can't get money off your takeaway

During lockdown, many restaurants that were forced to temporarily close down began offering a takeaway service.

But you won't be able to get the half price discount if you order food to take home, even if the pub or restaurant offers the scheme.

It can only be used to buy meals that you eat in the premises.

7. You can take leftovers home in a doggy bag

Although you can't use the scheme to get money off a takeaway, you are allowed to take home any leftover food that you used the discount when you paid for it.

As long as you started to eat the meal on the premises then you can get money off your food.

8. The discount can't be used at weddings

Small weddings may be back on this summer but you can't use the discount to pay for guests' meals.

The scheme doesn't include food and drink that is sold as part of a wider catering service, including corporate events and private functions.

9. Tips are not included

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will not be able to use the scheme to cover service charges that they apply to the bill.

As the money off can only be used to help pay for food and soft drinks, customers will need to tip the service team out of their own pocket.

10. It can be used at football stadiums, shopping centres and theme parks

You will be able to get half price meals at food outlets at football stadiums and theme parks as long as there is a designated seating area.

The discount still applies if the seating area is shared, as long as you eat your meal where you bought it.

11. It can't be used to pay for food as part of a package deal

The discount can't be used to pay for package deals, such as bed and breakfasts.

But if you paid to stay somewhere overnight and bought breakfast separately the next morning to eat in the dining room then you can get cash off the bill.

12. You can get half price food on trains

If a train has a specific dining carriage or area that you can sit in to eat the food that you bought on board then the discount can be applied.

But customers who take the food away to eat it elsewhere will have to pay full price.

13. But it can't be used on planes

If you are having to travel by plane while the government's ban on all but essential travel is still in place then you should be aware that you won't be able to get the discount on food ordered onboard.

This is because planes don't have a designated space for dining in.

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