The government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme has come to an end with a bumper bank holiday finale, which saw sales records broken.
The scheme saw the Treasury subsidise 50% of eat-in meals and soft drinks across the country, up to the value of £10 per person, in a bid to increase consumer confidence and protect jobs across the hospitality industry.
As the month-long offer came to a close yesterday (Monday 31 August), Simon Hulstone of the Elephant restaurant in Torquay said August had been his "busiest month on record" while Tim Foster, founder of Yummy Pub Co, reported that Monday was set to be the busiest ever for the Wiremill pub in Surrey.
Ben Tish, culinary director of the Stafford London and Norma restaurant, tweeted: "We've had an incredible August. Thanks to everyone for coming along." While chancellor Rishi Sunak added: "The scheme reminded us why we as a nation love dining out and I urge diners to maintain the momentum to help continue our economic recovery,"
Many operators have announced self-funded extensions to the scheme, or versions of it, in a bid to continue the boost into September. However others have expressed concerns that the sectors revival from Covid-19 should not be built on discounting.