Eating out at the government’s expense could continue through September
Restaurant body U.K. Hospitality has joined what is currently a handful of small-medium-sized chains in calling for the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ restaurant discount to be extended through September. Spanish specialists Brindisa and renewed steak slinger Gaucho have already pledged to extend the scheme whether the government does or not, meaning that the 50 percent discount up to £10 per head deal will continue without the groups claiming the deficit back from the government.
U.K. Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls couched the call in potential for currently unopened restaurants: “The benefit to consumers, the importance to businesses shows the need to continue it for another month to get the remaining 50 percent of restaurants and pubs reopen and successfully trading.”
While the scheme’s numbers are big — 35 million meals in two weeks — and restaurateurs are seeing bookings climb Monday through Wednesday, even another month of it is still not a solution to the industry’s two biggest problems: rent, and the furlough scheme that supports staff wages running out at the end October. Sunny August weather has bolstered outdoor dining, but September weather is more fickle. Eating out will help out, but the simple fact is that it won’t save restaurants.
And in other news...
- London’s most resolutely anti-hype essential restaurant accidentally wades into Instagram-famous waters.
- Arsenal fans and former players mourn the closure of a beloved match day pie shop, Piebury Corner.
- One of London’s top Michelin-starred restaurants will reopen in Shoreditch at the start of September, and it still believes in the tasting menu.
- Heston Blumenthal wants to make you a sandwich.
- Meatless Farm, a vegan burger producer so big it’s in U.K. supermarkets, thinks it needs to write Meat Free as M*** F*** to be edgy at its upcoming drive-thru pop-up. Lads, you’re in Sainsbury’s. [Hot Dinners]
- Staff at a Marks and Spencer food supplier that tested positive for coronavirus are having to use food banks because statutory sick pay is so low. [BBC News]
- Good tweet: