What you need to know about the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme and how to register

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the creation of a Government Scheme called ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ aimed at incentivising your customers to eat out throughout August. It gives customers a discount which operators can claim back from the government.

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafe’s offering food can register.  Here are the reasons why to get involved, what you have to do, and what the impact on the food bill will be.

How to register for the scheme

HMRC have made registration as simple as possible. Find out how to register on GOV.UK.

Fraud and compliance checks will be carried out when you register for the scheme and make a claim.

An agent cannot apply on your behalf.

Designing a scheme that allows tax agents to apply on your behalf would have taken much longer to deliver, at a time when speed is the priority. We have worked hard to make the registration and claims process as easy as possible.

Establishments that are eligible

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
If you’ve used other schemes like Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme

You can still register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme if you’ve used other schemes.

If you’ve recently submitted an application to the Local Authority to operate as a food business

Provided you submitted your application to the relevant local authority on or before 7 July 2020, you will be eligible for the scheme.

Expenditure that is eligible 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).

There is no minimum spend requirement.

Expenditure that is ineligible 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

You can only offer the discount on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when your business is open.

If a customer leaves the premises after ordering food or drink to dine in

If a customer is dining in and then takes away the remainder of their meal, the discount will still apply.

If a customer only orders a non-alcoholic drink

The scheme discount applies to food or non-alcoholic drink for dining in.

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

You can use the scheme for food and drink sold for immediate consumption on the restaurant premises. This does not include food and drink that is purchased as part of a wider service.

If you run a café that has an outdoor seating area

You can use the scheme and apply the discount to food or drink sold for immediate consumption on the café premises.

If you put a table and chairs on the pavement outside your take-away or mobile van

You cannot use the scheme. To be eligible your business must have the facility to offer dining on the premises. Establishments with only informal outside seating in an area that does not belong to the establishment and/or is not shared with other establishments, will not be eligible to participate in the scheme.

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.

If you operate a hotel and provide bed and breakfast service

The scheme discount is only available to food and drink sold for immediate consumption on premises. This does not include food and drink that is sold as part of a wider accommodation service.

If you provide catering services for weddings and other events

You cannot use the scheme. The scheme discount is only available to food and drink sold for immediate consumption on premises. This does not include food and drink that is sold as part of a wider catering service.

If you are a restaurant and are selling food and drink as part of events, functions and private parties

You cannot apply the scheme discount to food and drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function. You can however apply the discount to food and drink sold in the normal course of the restaurant business.

Offering the discount
If you include a service charge on your bill

The service charge is not included in the scheme discount – the reduction only applies to spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks.

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.

If you do not want to offer a 50% discount

You cannot change the terms of the scheme, the discount you offer must be 50%.

What counts as a ‘diner’

A diner is any person, adult or child, for whom food or drink is being purchased for consumption on premises. A diner does not need to be the paying customer.

Applying the £10 per person cap to a single bill

Where there is more than one diner on a single bill, the cap does not need to be calculated for each individual diner based on their specific orders. Instead, the discount that is applied to the overall bill should be capped at the number of diners multiplied by £10.

Example of applying the cap to a £60 bill

A group of four diners (2 adults and 2 children) spend £60, including £10 on alcoholic beverages. There is a 10% service charge bringing the pre-discount bill to £66.

Description Price
Bill before service charge and discount £60.00
Amount spent on alcohol £10.00
Service charge £6.00
Total bill £66.00
Amount that discount can be applied to £50.00
Discount to customers (50% of 50) £25.00
Bill after discount is applied £41.00

The total discount is £25, which is £6.25 per diner and is below the £10 per diner cap.

Example of applying the cap to a £100 bill

A group of four diners (2 adults and 2 children) spend £100, including £10 on alcoholic beverages. There is a 10% service charge bringing the pre-discount bill to £110.

Description Price
Bill before service charge and discount £100.00
Amount spent on alcohol £10.00
Service charge £10.00
Total bill £110.00
Amount that discount can be applied to £90.00
Uncapped discount to customers (50% of 90) £45.00
Capped discount (£10 per diner) £40.00
Bill after discount is applied £70.00

The uncapped discount is £45, which is £11.25 per diner and is above the £10 per diner cap. The discount is therefore capped at £40.

Contact, help and further support from HMRC

Get more information about the scheme

  • guidance on how to register on GOV.UK
  • free live webinars which explain how the scheme works, provides examples and allows you to ask questions
  • YouTube video explaining how the scheme works
  • webchat service – available from 13 July 2020
  • a dedicated helpline for restaurants – available from 13 July 2020
  • guidance on how to make claim on gov.uk
Get promotional material to use in your establishment

You can download free assets to help you promote the scheme. We will also send restaurants who register a display sticker so people can see they are participating. The government will also promote the scheme using radio, media and advertising. Restaurants and establishments who have registered will be published on GOV.UK so the public can see who is taking part.

Using your own promotional material to advertise that you’re using the scheme

We know that restaurants have their own branding and client base. We welcome restaurants marketing the scheme themselves but would encourage you to use the campaign logo, which will be an important point of reference for the customer.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

 

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