4th September 2020
MP celebrates success of Eat Out to Help Out scheme in Sittingbourne and Sheppey
More than 64,000 meals were claimed in Sittingbourne and Sheppey under the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, according to the latest statistics.
In total, more than 100 million meals were claimed across the UK under the scheme, which ran throughout the month of August. In total, 84,700 establishments signed up to the scheme, including 74 in Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
Both local MP, Gordon Henderson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the hospitality industry after a challenging few months because of coronavirus. The scheme is credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year. Data from OpenTable shows bookings increased by an average of 52 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.
Eat Out to Help Out was just one part of the Conservative Government’s Plan for Jobs – an ambitious £30 billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus. The Government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, until 12 January 2021.
Commenting, Mr Henderson said:
“I am absolutely thrilled at the level of support local people in Sittingbourne and Sheppey have provided to our brilliant restaurants and hospitality businesses.
“Eat Out to Help Out was always about far more than just giving people money off their meals – it was about protecting jobs which are reliant on businesses which have really struggled through coronavirus.
“I have no doubt that there are businesses in Sittingbourne and Sheppey today which, without this brilliant scheme, may not have made it through the summer. I hope local people will continue to support them in the months ahead.
“I hope also that some of those businesses will feel able to continue offering similar schemes, that they can somehow fund themselves. That would ensure they continue to attract diners to their restaurants and customers would continue to benefit from a discount.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs- and to do this we needed be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.
“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.
“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”