£1.5m claimed by Peterborough hospitality businesses during Eat Out To Help Out

Gurkha Durbaar restaurant at BroadwayGurkha Durbaar restaurant at Broadway
Gurkha Durbaar restaurant at Broadway
Diners in Peterborough tucked into more than 300,000 meals during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme last summer, according to the latest figures from the Government.

The scheme, which was designed to give struggling hospitality businesses a financial boost during the pandemic, saw foodies across the country dine out for a fraction of the usual cost. The Government picked up 50% of the bill (up to £10 per person) three days a week throughout August. 
Figures released from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs show that more than 106 million meals were claimed for across the UK, totalling over £611 million.
Across Peterborough, 316,000 meals were claimed from 146 restaurants, bars and cafes under the scheme.
This provided an average discount of £4.84 per meal.
The total amount claimed by Peterborough businesses was £1,527,000, with restaurants claiming an average of £10,500.
The data only includes registered businesses with fewer than 25 outlets. 

Prem Devkota’s Ghurkha Durbaar Nepalese and Indian restaurant in Broadway, Peterborough city centre, was one of those that took advantage of the scheme.

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”July had been a bit quiet so Eat Out To Help Out did make a big difference to our restaurant in August,” he said.

Eat Out To Help OutEat Out To Help Out
Eat Out To Help Out

“We had maybe around 1,000 customers dine with us as part of the scheme. About 80 percent of those were regulars so I suppose it did get the word out there and bring in lots of new customers to the restaurant, so that was good too.

”But then September went quiet, suggesting people came out because of the incentive of some great food at a discount price in August and soon forgot.”

He added: “It is only my opinion but something similar should have been done to help with takeaways.”
UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said although the scheme was a “welcome boost” to businesses, more now needs to be done by the Government to help businesses through the new national lockdown. Ms Nicholls said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme is now unfortunately a deep and distant memory in light of the subsequent restrictions and enforced closures suffered by so many businesses. 
“These numbers highlight how the sector grabbed this opportunity and played its part in rebuilding customer confidence in eating and drinking out and helped power the wider economy. “Hospitality can play this role again and is desperate to do so once restrictions are lifted by offering safe and controlled environments for consumers to come back together. 
“But we need further support from the Government, including a continuation of measures such as the VAT cut and business rates holiday, in order to revitalise the economy this year and beyond.”
HM Treasury said the scheme brought back over 400,000 people from furlough but did not specify whether it, or something similar, would return in the future.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we have worked with creativity and at pace to support individuals and businesses. “We designed The Eat Out to Help Out scheme to protect 2 million jobs in hospitality, an industry whose employees are at high risk of long-term unemployment in the event of redundancy. “It protected jobs across the UK by bringing back 400,000 people from furlough whilst safely restoring consumer confidence.”