The UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme ended last Monday with news that over six million meals were claimed for in Scotland during the month.

Over 8,500 restaurants across Scotland registered for the scheme including 2,326 in Edinburgh which served 1,398,000 meals to people in Edinburgh.

The figures do not yet include the numbers from the final day, Monday 31 August, meaning that this number will be higher. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s shot in the arm for the hospitality sector has been declared a success by those involved, and some restaurants have decided to offer their own self-funded version of the scheme in September.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said: “The UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a roaring success, helping protect 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector. More than 6.3 million meals were enjoyed in Scotland with the UK Government paying up to £10 towards each. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the scheme – as well as the staff who made it possible.

“This initiative is just one part of an extensive package of UK Government support for Scotland’s economy and jobs. That includes supporting more than 930,000 jobs, providing business loans, helping to get young people into jobs, and a VAT cut for tourism and hospitality businesses. We are also providing an additional £6.5 billion through the Barnett formula for the devolved administration at Holyrood.”

Jeremy Balfour MSP for Lothian says the scheme has shown one of the ways the UK Government has stepped up to support Scotland’s economy and businesses throughout the Covid-19 crisis. He thinks that many jobs will have been protected locally as a result of the Chancellor’s initiative.

Mr Balfour said: “The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme from Rishi Sunak was a wonderfully innovative idea and one that has proven hugely popular right across Edinburgh.

“It is excellent to see this now highlighted in the hard facts from the Treasury with a total of 2326 restaurants taking part in Edinburgh and 1,398,000 of meals claimed.

“This has been a real shot in the arm for the hospitality sector to get them back on their feet following the Covid-19 shutdown and has brought about a real buzz to our many wonderful restaurants, pubs, cafes and other hospitality businesses across the area.

“Many jobs that might otherwise have been lost now stand a real chance of being saved as a result of the Chancellor encouraging us to do our bit and I’d like to thank all locals and visitors who supported businesses here in Edinburgh.

“There is still so much more we need to do to support our hospitality sector in the coming months, but the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has helped get it back up and running again.”

Pictured are Sam Campbell, Jamie Crothall and Georgia Noble highlighting the September deal at Montpeliers Pic Greg Macvean

Some restaurants will continue to offer their own version of the scheme including those in the Montpelier Group – customers can enjoy the same perks as last month, in Tigerlily, Rabble, Indigo Yard and Montpeliers with 50% off their bill, up to the value of £10 per person, Monday – Wednesday. 

Shezan Restaurant on Union Place are also offering their customers the same discount from Monday to Wednesday each week from 1 -30 September 2020. Diners will be given up to £10 per person off food. Ownere, Shahid Ghani, said: “I am delighted to see our customers back in our lovely restaurant where we are serving great food and taking care of them with Covid-19 precautions. We know that everyone needs a little help at this time, and this is our way of repaying diners for their loyalty to us. Now they will be able to enjoy even more tasty curry dishes at great prices, and relax here with us at Shezan Restaurant.”

Virginie Brouard owner of  La P’tite Folie French restaurant and Le Di-Vin wine bar in the West End said: “I think that the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Campaign was a great success. People do want to eat out and get back to restaurants so it was the perfect opportunity to help local businesses get back on their feet.

“For us, Monday through to Wednesdays are usually quieter days and with the scheme we have found both our restaurant and wine bar  busier and the bookings have increased a lot during this time. However, towards the end of the campaign it was getting a bit quieter again and we want to still encourage people in Edinburgh to dine out. We have introduced our very own ‘Keep Eating Out to Help Out’ to support local businesses with a special set menu from Monday-Thursday for the next few months. We will offer a 2 course Set dinner at £25.00 including a 175ml glass of wine. We recommend people to book to take advantage of the special set menu  and hopefully this will  continue to  increase our bookings to see us through to the festive season.”

Here is the breakdown of figures for August according to area, the number of registered restaurants, the number of meals claimed for and the total amount of discount claimed. The final column is the average amount of discount per head.

S92Scotland                  8,543            6,333,000     38,607,000                  6.10
S14000022Edinburgh East                      604                275,000        1,792,000                  6.52
S14000023Edinburgh North and Leith                      533                269,000        1,842,000                  6.84
S14000024Edinburgh South                      140                119,000           855,000                  7.17
S14000025Edinburgh South West                      527                416,000        2,928,000                  7.03
S14000026Edinburgh West                      522                319,000        2,213,000                  6.94
                        465            1,398,000        9,630,000                  6.90