Spending in UK restaurants and fast food outlets was up 34.2 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, compared to the same days in July during the government Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Wednesdays experienced the biggest increase during Eat Out to Help Out, as spending grew 39.7 per cent month-on-month, according to data from Barclaycard published today.
Four in ten Brits made use of the scheme, and almost one in five plans to continue eating out more often to support the industry, Barclaycard said.
The discount scheme, which ended on Monday, allowed dine-in customers to receive a 50 per cent discount on food and soft drinks, up to the value of £10, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August.
While the scheme gave the restaurant industry a boost, figures remain behind where they were in 2019 Barclaycard said.
The average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained fairly stable, rising from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August, indicating that the discount encouraged diners to order more food and non-alcoholic drinks, in order to spend roughly the same amount overall.
Thursdays to Sundays in August also saw strong growth compared to July, with total spending in restaurants and fast food outlets up 33 per cent.
Year-on-year, the total value of transactions across restaurants and fast food outlets in August was down seven per cent compared to August 2019, and the total number of transactions was down 11.6 per cent for the same period.
Rob Cameron, chief executive of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s clear that Eat Out to Help Out had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.
“Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise. Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.”
The hospitality industry has urged the government to extend the initiative as it has been successful in boosting consumer confidence to return to restaurants and cafes.
However the Treasury has insisted that its popularity is down to the fact that it is a time-limited scheme.
Londoners hunting a cheap bite to eat could be in luck, as many restaurants have announced plans to extend the discount at their own cost.
Chain restaurant Bill’s will offer customers a 50 per cent discount from Monday to Wednesday throughout September, City Pub Co is extending the scheme following its popularity throughout August and Gaucho, the steakhouse chain, will offer 50 per cent off next month