Of the measures designed to aid the recovery of the restaurant industry across the U.K. the government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, which offers a 50 percent discount, capped at £10, has been the most attention-grabby. This in spite of its questionable merits, a scheme appearing to assist lower price-point and chain restaurants more than city’s independent restaurant sector. It is decidedly limited in scope: it applies on food eaten in, cannot be claimed on alcoholic drinks, and can only be used at participating venues on Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in the month of August.
But what it doesn’t offer the consumer is of diminished concern to restaurants who need all the help they can get. A route to recovery peppered with obstacles is true for so many businesses across the city, but the dependancy of the high-end on tourists and office workers whose meaningful return is some time away, means many of London’s Michelin-starred restaurants are acutely vulnerable to the multifarious effects of the pandemic. Some have already closed permanently.
It is therefore a sign of these unusual times that restaurants which were serving high-end cuisine and tasting menus to high-rollers just six months ago are signed up to a voucher scheme which in normal times would have been the preserve of shopping centre chains and the pre-theatre trade.
Of the 63 Michelin-starred restaurants in London, 22 are so far signed up. They’re listed below, with a note on their published safety procedures and, while the safety of restaurant staff cannot be guaranteed, whether outdoor seating is available for guests.Read More