Meal discount initiative for U.K. restaurants had reportedly driven U.K.’s economic rebound in August despite bleak financial outlook.
It appears Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” program has successfully lured Britons into spending. The success, as told by The Guardian, was also heavily influenced by consumers’ pent-up desire to have a sense of normalcy which coronavirus lockdown had taken away for months.
‘Eat Out to Help Out’ drives August recovery
In a report first published by The Guardian, Eat Out to Help Out scheme has fueled U.K.’s economic rally in August along with retail spending. The country’s unprecedented upward trend is also the sharpest bounce back among the G7 nations.
Eat Out to Help Out scheme was a campaign launched to help restaurateurs across the U.K. attract costumers, following the hospitality industry’s call for support. The program gives customers a 50% discount for every dined in meals—between Monday to Wednesday only—in cafes, restos, and pubs valid until August 31.
But a survey recently released by YouGov indicates that demand will drop by 36% in September. The government’s furlough scheme is about to end as well this fall, which many deemed crucial to keep the economy afloat.
TUC’s director-general, for instance, said that continued support for the unemployed is critical to “avert a jobs catastrophe and long-term damage to the economy.”
“Without urgent action, we face the prospect of mass unemployment on a scale not seen since the 1980s,” Frances O’Grady told The Guardian.
Britain previously reported a 20.4% drop in its gross domestic product in the second quarter, citing the decline as the steepest downturn since the 1950s.
Restos to continue the scheme
Due to its success, some restaurateurs around the U.K. are said to continue the Eat Out Help Out scheme, which will about to end on Monday, August 31. The program was used more than 64 million times within its first week, per a report from the Treasury.
The initiative, however, will be self-funded.
On a good note, commercial landlords such as Grosvenor said rents for tenants that will continue the Eat Out to Help Out program would be reduced until the end of September.
In a statement, executive director of Grosvenor’s London estate Amelia Bright said:
“Eat Out to Help Out has been a powerful tool in protecting jobs and local economies UK-wide. […] Continuing it will not only support cafes, restaurants, and bars that we lease space to but also help welcome back more visitors and workers to Mayfair and Belgravia.”
Some of the restaurants that will extend the scheme are Peggy Porschen café, Pizza Pilgrims, and Comptoir and Roka.