Eat Out to Help Out scheme confusion as hungry discount diners ‘don’t understand’ rules

THE Eat Out to Help Out scheme has sparked confusion among diners just 24 hours after it launched, with some saying they “don’t understand” the rules.

Hungry Brits are taking to Twitter to ask whether the money-off initiative includes takeaways, as well as dine-in meals.

Eat Out to Help Out sees Brits get 50 per cent off their bill up to a maximum discount of £10 a head at pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout August.

It started yesterday, August 3, and will run every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until August 31.

The discount includes both adult's and children's meals, plus non-alcoholic drinks – although booze isn't included.

But this only counts for sit-down meals, not takeaway food. So if you're ordering food to grab and go, you won't be entitled to half price grub.

Eat Out to Help Out explained

THE government will cover half of the cost of a meal out, up to £10 a head, including children's meals.

The discount means that a meal out for one that costs £20 will be reduced to £10, but a £25 meal for one will be slashed to £15 because of the £10 cap per person.

There is no limit to the number of times you can use the discount, so in theory you can get half price meals on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August.

Businesses will need to register with the scheme on before being able to offer the discount, as well as be Food Standards Agency approved.

Instead of issuing discount vouchers – which the government felt increased the risk of fraud – restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to claim back the cash.

The refund will then been transferred into restaurants, cafes and pubs' bank accounts within five working days.

Customers will only receive the discount if they eat out at a registered business.

Enthusiastic diners were seen making the most of the first day of the government offer, with customers getting money off in both McDonald's and at Michelin diners.

But some Brits weren't so lucky, and said the Eat Out to Help Out rules left them baffled.

One diner says the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was being offered by restaurants that are only doing takeout.

Some bigger chains haven't fully reopened all their locations for dine-in customers, but they'll still be allowed to take part in Eat Out to Help Out at the branches where they do offer eat-in.

Writing on Twitter, one person said: "Wait so why doesn't the Eat Out Help Out stuff apply to takeaways? Am I the only one confused?"

A second person tweeted: "Apparently the 'Eat Out' discount only applies to dining in and not takeaway?! So shouldn't they have called it 'Eat In to Help Out'?"

A third said: "Okay, I’m confused by this Eat Out to Help Out scheme now. It’s not valid on takeaways but is valid on restaurants doing collection only? What’s the difference?!"

But while you can't get 50 per cent off takeout food, you can technically take home any leftovers you can't finish in a doggy bag.

As long as you started to eat the meal on the premises then you can get money off your food.

Eat Out to Help Out aims to get Brits back out and spending to boost the economy and save jobs in the hospitality sector.

It's part of a wider £30billion package to help the country's finances recover after three months of lockdown following the spread of Covid-19.

Businesses must register with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme so your favourite restaurant may not automatically be offering 50 per cent off.

Restaurants that can take part include big high street chains as well as independent food outlets, which are also benefiting from a 15 per cent VAT cut.

The Sun has rounded up a full list of chains that are taking part in Eat Out to Help Out.

You can also use a new government Eat Out to Help Out postcode checker to help you find places that are participating.

The Sun has asked HM Treasury for clarification on takeaway rules and we'll update this article when we know more.

A bargain hunter showed us how to get three meals a day for under £5 using Eat Out to Help Out.

Eat Out to Help Out at Premier Inn means you can get an all-you-can-eat breakfast for £4.50.

Plus, here are the Eat Out to Help Out posters to look out for in restaurants to get 50 per cent off.

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