The British government launched a discount scheme to boost the hospitality sector which has been hit hard by coronavirus.
The so-called Eat Out to Help Out Scheme offers customers a 50 per cent discount when they eat in at registered restaurants every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between August 3 and 31, Xinhua news agency reported.
The scheme applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of 10 pounds (about US $13).
Meanwhile, restaurants have been preparing to become COVID-secure through protective screens, contactless payments, social distancing, one way walking systems, online bookings and reduced capacity.
“Our Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
“More than 72,000 establishments will be serving discounted meals across the country, with the government paying half the bill. The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favourite places your support – we’ll pay half,” he said.
According to the British Treasury, around 80 percent of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million workers furloughed, the highest of any sector in Britain.
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme is part of the chancellor’s 30-billion-pound (US $39 billion) Plan for Jobs announced last month. Other measures include cutting VAT for tourism and hospitality by 15 per cent, and a 2-billion-pound (US $2.6 billion) Kickstart Scheme to create more jobs for young people.