More than 10.5 million diners claim half-price meals in first week

More than 10.5 million diners claim half-price meals in first week”

The scheme, put in place from August 3 by the Indian-origin minister as a way to reinvigorate the country's hospitality sector hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown and encourage people to dine out, means the government foots the bill for 50 per cent of a meal at participating restaurants between Monday to Wednesday.

The discount, also playfully known as "Rishi's Dishes" in a nod to the Chancellor, is capped at £10.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the figures show "our plan for jobs is delivering".

The Government has set aside £500m to fund the policy, which has cost around £50 million so far, according to Treasury estimates seen by the BBC.

Footfall numbers across all British retail destinations rose 3.8% last week from the previous week, with the commencement of a state-funded eating out scheme helping to drive evening traffic, industry data has shown.

Diners have claimed 10.5mln discounts as part of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in its first week. In the meantime lunchtime visits have been up 10%.

More news: Body Cam Footage: Cops Try Handcuffing 8-Year-Old

The second week of the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme gets underway today with early indications suggesting it has enjoyed some early success.

On the other hand, visits to Substantial Streets are nevertheless down drastically in contrast to the similar time past year.

Some 83,000 restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments have signed up to the scheme, ranging from chains like KFC and McDonalds to Michelin star restaurants.

If two people eat out together, they count as two individual meals in the statistics.

The IGD, a research charity working within the food and consumer goods industry, recently found that 63% of people still remain nervous about the idea of eating out, while 81% of diners claim that they will need to be confident about the hygiene measures in restaurants before they consider returning.

There is no limit on how many times the discount can be used in August, or for how many people, including children.

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