Wigan diners saved £1.7m through Eat Out To Help Out scheme
and live on Freeview channel 276
The scheme, which was designed to give struggling hospitality businesses a financial boost during the pandemic, saw foodies across the country dine out for a fraction of the usual cost.
The Government picked up 50 per cent of the bill, up to £10 per person, three days a week throughout August.
Figures released from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs show that more than 106 million meals were claimed for across the UK, totalling over £611m.
Diners eating out in Wigan claimed 328,000 meals worth £1,725,000 across 177 restaurants under the scheme.
This provided an average discount of £5.26 per meal. This resulted in restaurants claiming an average of £9,700 per outlet.
Wiganers claimed slightly less than the North West average, which was £5.71 per meal, based on more than 12.6 million meals claimed for, which resulted in discounts of more than 72 million across 6,342 restaurants.
The data only includes registered businesses with fewer than 25 outlets.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said although the scheme was a “welcome boost” to businesses, more now needs to be done by the Government to help businesses through the latest national lockdown.
She said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme is now unfortunately a deep and distant memory in light of the subsequent restrictions and enforced closures suffered by so many businesses.
“These numbers highlight how the sector grabbed this opportunity and played its part in rebuilding customer confidence in eating and drinking out and helped power the wider economy.
“Hospitality can play this role again and is desperate to do so once restrictions are lifted by offering safe and controlled environments for consumers to come back together.
“But we need further support from the Government, including a continuation of measures such as the VAT cut and business rates holiday, in order to revitalise the economy this year and beyond.”
HM Treasury said the scheme brought back over 400,000 people from furlough but did not specify whether it, or something similar, would return in the future.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we have worked with creativity and at pace to support individuals and businesses.
“We designed The Eat Out to Help Out scheme to protect two million jobs in hospitality, an industry whose employees are at high risk of long-term unemployment in the event of redundancy.
“It protected jobs across the UK by bringing back 400,000 people from furlough whilst safely restoring consumer confidence.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers.