Fifers claim £1.3m discount in Eat Out To Help Out scheme

Over 200,000 meals ordered across region’s constituencies
The HMRC's new Eat Out to Help out initiative is aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industryThe HMRC's new Eat Out to Help out initiative is aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry
The HMRC's new Eat Out to Help out initiative is aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry

Fifers claimed over 200,000 discount meals as part of the Government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ campaign, It has been revealed.

Figures published this week showed the total discount came to £1.3m.

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The scheme was launched to support the hospitality sector which was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Running throughout August, it encouraged people to eat out at the start of each week, with the UK Government covering up to £10 of the bill.

The move was designed to kick-start the sector, and protect the 1.8million people it employs.

Across Fife, a total of 293 businesses signed up, and, in total they recorded 219,000 claims for discounted meals.

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In the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, 64 businesses took part in Eat Out To Help Out, serving up some 35,000 meals with a combined discounted cost of £234,000.

The average discount per meal was £6.70.

North-east Fife had the most participants, with 104 establishments delivering 74,000 meals, for a total discounted claim of £420,000. The average saving was £5.65 per meal.

Glenrothes constituency had the fewest participants at 51, but the second highest average discount per meal at £6.40.

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A total of 49,000 meals were claimed with a discount of £315,000.

In Dunfermline, 74 businesses took part, with 74,000 discounted meals claimed at a total saving of £420,000 - £5.65 per meal saved.

In total, 6,333,000 meals were claimed across Scotland at a total discount of £38m.

The final figures may be higher as businesses have until the end of September to make a claim - but the scheme has been hailed a success.

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Alister Jack, Scottish Secretary, said: ““The UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a roaring success, helping protect 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector.

“More than 6.3 million meals were enjoyed in Scotland with the UK Government paying up to £10 towards each. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the scheme - as well as the staff who made it possible.”

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor, also thanked all who had helped get the scheme up and running.

He said the scheme had significantly boosted restaurant bookings during August, with the scheme growing in popularity each week.

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According to OpenTable data, restaurant bookings increased by an average of 53 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month, compared to the same days in 2019.

In July 2020, restaurant bookings were down 54 per cent on average, and on August 31 - the final day of the scheme - reservations were up 216 per cent.

He said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.

“The figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.”

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