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Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

This scheme is part of the Governments 'Plan for Jobs'. The scheme offers a discount to diners Monday - Wednesday throughout August and the businesses are reimbursed by the Government.

Eat Out to Help Out Poster

This scheme will offer diners 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered. This scheme will run for the month of August.

Businesses will be reimbursed the discount by the Government. Businesses that want to participate in the scheme will have to register here. Registration closes on 31 August.

Each week in August, beginning 7 August, businesses can then claim the money back, with the funds in their bank account within five working days. The service to reclaim money will close on 30 September.

Scheme Information

Establishment Eligibility

Eligible establishments are those in which food is sold for immediate on-premises consumption. This could include:

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • public houses that serve food
  • hotel restaurants
  • restaurants and cafes within tourist attractions, holiday sites and leisure facilities
  • dining rooms within members’ clubs
  • workplace and school canteens

You cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers

You can register your business using this link

Register your Business

To register, you must have:

  • your Government Gateway ID and password (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)

You may also need your:

  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable)
  • Corporation Tax or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each.

If you’re registering more than 25 establishments

If you’re registering more than 25 establishments that are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one.

You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address.

You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.

Register now

Scheme Information

Eligible expenditure for the discount:

The discount can be applied to food and/or non-alcoholic drink purchased for immediate consumption on premises, up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner (inclusive of VAT).

This includes soft drinks and/or packaged snacks, as long as they are for immediate consumption on the premises.

There is no minimum spend requirement.

Ineligible expenditure for the discount

The discount cannot be applied to the following items:

  • alcoholic drinks
  • tobacco products
  • food or drink that is to be consumed off premises
  • food or drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function taking place within an eligible establishment

When you should offer the discount

When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

If you’re normally closed on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday

The discount is only applicable on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. If your business is closed on these days, you will not be able to offer the discount. 

What counts as ‘on premises’

For the purposes of this scheme, the term ‘on premises’ means any area set aside for the consumption of food or non-alcoholic drink by that establishment’s customers, whether or not that area may also be used by the customers of other establishments. 

If you operate a hotel with a restaurant

The discount can apply in the restaurant for food for immediate consumption in the restaurant premises. The discount will not apply to breakfast, if breakfast has been sold as part of a package, ie. Bed and Breakfast rates or dinner, if dinner has been included in the accommodation price.

If you operate an outlet in a shopping centre and share a designated dining area with other outlets

You can use the scheme and apply the discount to food or drink sold for immediate consumption in that designated area.

You cannot offer the discount if:

  • You offer catering services for functions, the scheme is only available to food and drink sold for immediate consumption.
  • You set tables and chairs on the pavement outside of your mobile catering van. 
  • If you are a restaurant selling food and drink as part of an event, function or private party. You cannot apply the scheme discount to food and drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function.

If you offer other discounts to diners

You can use the scheme alongside other offers and discounts you are offering. To calculate the value of the transaction and make a claim to HMRC, you must first apply any special offers, vouchers or discount schemes you might be promoting or accepting and deduct any service charge. You will only be reimbursed for the qualifying discounts you provide as part of the scheme.

The Government will promote this scheme using radio, media and advertising. Once you register your business, you will be able to download free assets to promote the scheme. You will also receive a sticker to show diners your are participating. Once you register, your details will be on GOV.UK so the public can search for participating establishments. 

When you start offering the discount

You should include the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme name on the bill when you offer the discount.

You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.

When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

Claim money back through Scheme

If you have registered your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and offered scheme discounts to diners on Mondays to Wednesdays between 3 and 31 August, you can:

  • claim back the discount given on food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • submit weekly claims for August until 30 September

You must make the claim yourself, you cannot ask an agent to do it for you.

When you can claim

You can make a claim after 7 days from the date of your registration. The earliest you can make a claim is 7 August. You can only claim for scheme discounts you offered on or after the date you registered. Claim now

What you need to make a claim

You’ll need the records you’ve kept for each day you’ve used the scheme, including the:

  • total number of diners (covers) who have used the scheme, including children
  • total amount of discount you’ve given
  • period you’re claiming for

If you’re making a claim for more than one establishment, you will need to have the:

  • records for each establishment
  • overall total value of the claim for all establishments ready before you claim

How to Claim

You can make up to 5 claims before 30 September. You cannot claim after that.

When you sign into the service you must choose the periods that you claiming for, from:

  • 3 to 5 August
  • 10 to 12 August
  • 17 to 19 August
  • 24 to 26 August
  • 31 August

You’ll also need to enter the total number of covers and claim value for each establishment that has offered the scheme discount.

What happens next

Once you’ve claimed, you’ll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into the bank account you gave when you registered, within 5 working days.

Paying tax

You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customer’s bill before the scheme discount is applied. This amount needs to be reflected in the correct VAT return for the period the transaction took place.

Contact HMRC

If you have any queries over registering or making a claim you can call HMRC on 0300 322 9429.

Download Eat Out to Help Out Promotional Materials


This page was last updated 10 August 2020