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Eat Out Help to Help Out. Will you be extending?

More than 64 million meals were enjoyed throughout August, courtesy of Eat Out to Help Out. Despite the government scheme officially coming to an end, many larger chains and independent businesses in the food and drink sector have extended the deal at their own expense.

The original idea

Eat Out to Help Out was launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to help reboot the hospitality industry after the lockdown. Running Mondays-Wednesdays throughout August, the scheme worked wonders in supporting the industry (which is responsible for 1.8 million jobs in the UK). In the first week alone, 10.5 million meals were claimed, a figure which rose to 64 million by the end of the month.

Not only did it help encourage people to venture out to their favourite dining spots in the pandemic, but it actually increased the number of customers by 61% compared to figures taken in 2019! Impressive, right?

So, how and why are businesses choosing to extend the offer?

Is the Government still paying the difference?

No, we’re afraid not. The scheme has officially ended, so any discounts given are at the expense of the business.

Why extend?

If the scheme has ended, why are people still offering it? Well, the success of the scheme was so great for many businesses that by continuing it into September, they’re actually making more than they would if they ended it.

September is a slow month for hospitality, as kids are back to school and people are tightening the purse strings before Christmas, so offering a discount is a great incentive for customers to keep dining out.

Managing Cash Flow

If you do decide to extend this scheme, it’s essential that you keep on top of your cash flow. Without proper management and understanding of how your cash flow’s looking, it would be risky to extend the scheme.

It’s important to remember that as it’s no longer the official scheme, you have more flexibility for how you can use it. Although the larger chains are continuing the 50% off across their whole menu, many smaller businesses are offering a smaller menu with the discount. This way, you’re still offering a discount, but you can choose options that come at less of an expense to you.

No matter how you choose to extend the scheme, you should actively monitor your cash flow situation to see whether the deal is still your business’s best interest.

Learn more

When it comes to being a cash flow management master, we can certainly help. Download our E-Guide, for super handy tips and tricks to make your life easier, or get in touch today, to discover how we can help turn your accounting chaos into clarity.