The Eat Out to Help Out scheme: What you need to know

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme: What you need to know

To help encourage the struggling restaurant sector, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was announced as part of the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update earlier this month. In this article, MJB Avanti sets out all the key information you need on this new scheme.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is designed to help restaurants recover from the effects of the lockdown. The scheme officially launches on 3 August 2020 and will be available every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 31 August 2020. A new restaurant finder service is also being launched to help find local restaurants that are participating in the scheme.

Meals that are eaten in at any participating restaurant on the designated days will be 50% off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head including children. The discount will also apply to non-alcoholic drinks but cannot be claimed on alcoholic drinks or service charges. You can use the scheme multiple times and there is no minimum spend. Diners at a participating restaurant will not require a voucher to use the scheme and can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts.

All restaurants, pubs and bars can apply to take part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and display posters showing they are part of the scheme. Restaurants need to register online in order to participate. Once registered, they will discount your meal and claim the money back from the government. The specified days for using the scheme are typically the quieter trading days of the week so this should further help boost restaurants takings.

Who can register?

You can register if your 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 with the relevant local authority as a food business on or before 7 July

You 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 trailers

If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be cancelled.

To register, you will need the following information

  • the Government Gateway ID and password for your business (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • the date your business started trading

You may also need your:

  • VAT registration number
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • Corporation Tax, Self Assessment or Partnership Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

The registration is instant and you will be issued with a registration reference number which you’ll need to claim your reimbursement.

What’s Next?

  • Your Business name will be added to the list of participating venues, available here and you may download promotional materials to let your customers know you’re taking part here
  • You must wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.
  • The scheme must be offered during your full opening hours Mon-Wed on all qualifying food and drink sales throughout August.

You must keep the following records for every day that you use the scheme

  • total number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment including children.
  • total value of transactions under the scheme
  • total amount of discounts you’ve given

If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each venue.


You cannot claim until the reimbursements service opens on the 7th August and it will close on the 30th September.

  • You must wait 7 days from successful registration to make your first claim.
  • HMRC will pay eligible claims within 5 working days.
  • You may submit weekly claims
  • You’ll need to pay VAT on the full amount of your customers’ bills.
  • Money received through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.
  • You must make the claim yourself, an agent cannot do it on your behalf.

MJB Avanti work closely with many clients in the hospitality industry. If you’re in this industry and looking for an accountant who can make a real difference to your business, call MJB Avanti on 01473 55886 to discuss your accounting requirements.

Source: Informanagment / HMRC

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