The Eat Out to Help Out scheme started on Monday 3rd August, with restaurants, cafes and coffee shops able to offer great discounts on food and drink. The scheme has been put into place by the UK Government in a bid to help out the hospitality trade, which suffered hugely through the pandemic lockdown. Running every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August, the scheme is thought to be the first of its kind in bid to increase confidence in customers and to help protect the jobs of over 1.8 million people employed in the hospitality sector.
With lockdown restrictions easing and everyday life returning to what everyone is calling the ‘new normal’, I for one am really excited about being able to do the small things in life that we used to take for granted before Coronavirus came into our lives and changed everything for all of us. Going out for dinner, meeting a friend for coffee, mooching around town on a Saturday afternoon or even something as small as going to the supermarket. I struggled a lot during lockdown as I am not one for usually staying at home a lot. I like being out and about, seeing people and doing things, so I found lockdown really hard and was super happy when restrictions started easing.
Thankfully, I haven’t suffered with any concerns or anxiety about lockdown restrictions easing and being able to do things again. Going out for dinner with friends was one of my favourite things to do before lockdown, so when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was launched, it was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce one of my favourite things back into my life again. I have loved being able to eat out in some of my favourite restaurants again. Just yesterday, I met my friend for a long overdue catch up over breakfast at one of our favourite restaurants. It almost felt like normal. That is apart from the social distancing measures and hand sanitiser stands in place!
It has been reported that in the first 2 weeks of the scheme, over 35 million meals were served to customers in UK restaurants, bars and cafes. All great news for the hospitality sector who suffered so badly with the lockdown regulations. These figures would suggest that the British public are now feeling confident to enjoy eating out again safely. My only concern would be once the scheme ends on 31st August, will restaurants, bars and cafes still see the same number of bookings? For me personally, I will still continue to go out for dinner, meet friends for a coffee and a catch-up, and hopefully return to a more social way of life again.
Have the discounts from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme encouraged you to dine in public again? And will you continue eating out once the scheme ends?