Eat Out to Help Out

Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented a Summer Economic Update on Wednesday 8 July 2020 which set out the government’s Plan for Jobs. The policy measures set out a three-point plan. The Chancellor stated the aims of the government are to:

  • first - support people to find jobs
  • second - create jobs
  • third - to protect jobs.

In order to support around 130,000 businesses and to help protect the jobs of their 1.8 million employees, the government will introduce the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to encourage people to return to eating out. 

This will entitle every diner to a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal, at any participating restaurant, café, pub or other eligible food service establishment. The discount can be used unlimited times and will be valid Monday to Wednesday on any eat-in meal (including on non-alcoholic drinks) for the month of August 2020 across the UK. Participating establishments will be fully reimbursed for the 50% discount.

On Thursday 9 July 2020 HMRC published initial guidance which can be accessed below.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

The key points in this guidance are that:

Businesses can register for the scheme from 13 July 2020 and registrations will close on 31 August.

Businesses can register if the establishment:

  • sells food for consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

Businesses cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailer

Businesses should wait until they are registered before offering discounts to customers and discounts cannot be offered before 3 August.

When registering for the scheme, it is expected that businesses will offer it during the whole of their opening hours on all the eligible days that the business is open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

Detailed records

For each day the business is using the scheme, records must be kept of:

  • the total number of people who have used the scheme in the establishment
  • total value of transactions under the scheme
  • total amount of discounts given

If businesses are using the scheme for more than one establishment, records must be kept for each.

Making a claim

Claims cannot be made yet. The service to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020 and the service will close on 30 September.

Any money received through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.

For the purposes of this scheme, the term ‘on premises’ means any area set aside for the consumption of food or non-alcoholic drink by that establishment’s customers, whether or not that area may also be used by the customers of other establishments.

What counts as ‘on premises’

For the purposes of this scheme, the term ‘on premises’ means any area set aside for the consumption of food or non-alcoholic drink by that establishment’s customers, whether or not that area may also be used by the customers of other establishment. 

Businesses cannot apply the scheme discount to food and drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function. However, businesses can apply the discount to food and drink sold in the normal course of the restaurant business.

To help you keep your clients up to date with relevant announcements, we are also producing a concise, easy to understand summary of the key measures. For more information on how you can obtain a personalised PDF for your practice, click here.

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