The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme


In the recent Summer Economic Update, the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme was announced. This provides an incentive to anyone eating out during August, of a 50% discount on the cost of a meal, up to £10 a head. We now have additional detail on the scheme, as follows:

  • The scheme opens for hospitality businesses to register from today, 13th July 2020.
  • Businesses who register can give customers 50% discount, up to £10 per head, including to children, and can reclaim that discount from the Government.
  • Discounted meals can be made available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3rd August to the 31st August 2020.
  • Any business that provides EAT IN food can register and subsequently reclaim the discount given. The business must have a dedicated seating area, either of its own, or that is shared with another establishment. The business must have been actively trading on the 7th July 2020.
  • Take-aways, hotels providing room-service only and private catering businesses cannot going the scheme.

What does the 50% discount under the ‘Eat out to help out’ Scheme apply to?

  • All day, every day service.
  • Hot and cold food for eat-in only.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks.
  • All guests, including children.

NB: The VAT rate cut to 5% may well affect take-away food, so do read our separate Blog Post on the subject.

What is specifically excluded?

  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Service charges and tips.

How do you register for the ‘Eat out to help out’ Scheme?

You need to register with HMRC, which you can do here.

Make sure you register in good time. as you cannot reclaim any discounts you give before your registration is complete.

You’ll need the following information to complete your registration:

  • Your Government gateway login details.
  • The name and address of each location you want to register.
  • The Bank details you want your claim amounts to be paid into.
  • The address on your business bank account.
  • Your VAT number (if applicable)
  • Your Employer PAYE number (if applicable)
  • Your Corporation tax or self-assessment UTR (as applicable)

If you are missing any of this information, do get in touch as we have most of it on file for clients.

As you register you’ll be given a Registration Reference Number which you will need to make your claims.

What records must you keep?

For each location you must record the following every day:

  • The total number of people who’ve used the scheme on your premises.
  • The total value of transactions under the scheme.
  • The total amount of discounts you’ve given.

Important Point about your claims…

  • The claim service will not be available until the 7th August.
  • The claim service will close on the 30th September.
  • You cannot claim within 7 days of registration.
  • HMRC will pay claims within 5 working days.
  • You can claim weekly.
  • You will need to pay VAT on the full amount of your customers’ bills.
  • All funds claim through the scheme are taxable.


More information about the scheme is available here.

The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme is obviously very new, and is unique in the UK. More guidance has been promised by HMRC, which will be provided to registered businesses in advance of the scheme starting. Our advice would be to register as quickly as possible so you are set up and ready to go in good time.

You will need to amend your systems to take account of this scheme as well as the VAT cut to 5%, so do be sure to read that blog post too.

If you have any questions on either subject please get in touch.

If you've found this post helpful, please share it with others…