Why you should use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
It will incentivise customers to eat in your restaurant or other eating establishment by giving them a discount which you can then claim back from the government. The scheme is UK wide and customers will be able to see who is taking part on GOV.UK. The scheme will drum up custom on quieter days of the week and means you can build your business back up.
How to register for the scheme
HMRC have made registration as simple as possible. Find out how to register on GOV.UK.
How HMRC checks your registration
Fraud and compliance checks will be carried out when you register for the scheme and make a claim.
If you use an agent
An agent cannot apply on your behalf.
Designing a scheme that allows tax agents to apply on your behalf would have taken much longer to deliver, at a time when speed is the priority. We have worked hard to make the registration and claims process as easy as possible.
Businesses that are eligible
Establishments that are eligible for the scheme
Eligible establishments are those in which food is sold for immediate on-premises consumption. This could include:
- public houses that serve food
- hotel restaurants
- restaurants and cafes within tourist attractions, holiday sites and leisure facilities
- dining rooms within members’ clubs
- workplace and school canteens
If you’ve used other schemes like Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme
You can still register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme if you’ve used other schemes.
If you’ve recently submitted an application to the Local Authority to operate as a food business
Provided you submitted your application to the relevant local authority on or before 7 July 2020, you will be eligible for the scheme.
Sales that are eligible
Expenditure that is eligible for the discount
The discount can be applied to food and/or non-alcoholic drink purchased for immediate consumption on premises, up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner (inclusive of VAT).
There is no minimum spend requirement.
Expenditure that is ineligible for the discount
The discount cannot be applied to the following items:
- alcoholic drinks
- tobacco products
- food or drink that is to be consumed off premises
- food or drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function taking place within an eligible establishment
When you should offer the discount
When you register for the scheme, it is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.
If you’re normally closed on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday
You can only offer the discount on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when your business is open.
If a customer leaves the premises after ordering food or drink to dine in
If a customer is dining in and then takes away the remainder of their meal, the discount will still apply.
If a customer only orders a non-alcoholic drink
The scheme discount applies to food or non-alcoholic drink for dining in.
Eligibility for ‘on-premises’ consumption
What counts as ‘on premises’
For the purposes of this scheme, the term ‘on premises’ means any area set aside for the consumption of food or non-alcoholic drink by that establishment’s customers, whether or not that area may also be used by the customers of other establishments.
If you operate a hotel with a restaurant
You can use the scheme for food and drink sold for immediate consumption on the restaurant premises. This does not include food and drink that is purchased as part of a wider service.
If you run a café that has an outdoor seating area
You can use the scheme and apply the discount to food or drink sold for immediate consumption on the café premises.
If you put a table and chairs on the pavement outside your take-away or mobile van
You cannot use the scheme. To be eligible your business must have the facility to offer dining on the premises. Establishments with only informal outside seating in an area that does not belong to the establishment and/or is not shared with other establishments, will not be eligible to participate in the scheme.
If you operate an outlet in a shopping centre and share a designated dining area with other outlets
You can use the scheme and apply the discount to food or drink sold for immediate consumption in that designated area.
If you run a stall at a stadium or attraction
You can use the scheme, provided there is a designated area belonging to you for use by your customers.
If you run onboard train catering or aircraft catering
You can use the scheme if the train has a specific area or dining carriage for dining. All other food and drink is excluded.
You cannot use the scheme on an aircraft as they do not have restaurant areas where food is bought and eaten.
If you operate a hotel and provide bed and breakfast service
The scheme discount is only available to food and drink sold for immediate consumption on premises. This does not include food and drink that is sold as part of a wider accommodation service.
If you provide catering services for weddings and other events
You cannot use the scheme. The scheme discount is only available to food and drink sold for immediate consumption on premises. This does not include food and drink that is sold as part of a wider catering service.
If you are a restaurant and are selling food and drink as part of events, functions and private parties
You cannot apply the scheme discount to food and drink that is sold as part of a private party, event or function. You can however apply the discount to food and drink sold in the normal course of the restaurant business.
If you are a canteen operator
The definition of an eligible establishment covers workplace and school canteens.
The scheme discount can then be applied to food and drink that is sold to employees or students for immediate consumption on premises. The scheme does not cover food and drink that is paid for by the owner of the premises and supplied to employees or students for free.
Offering the discount
If you include a service charge on your bill
The service charge is not included in the scheme discount – the reduction only applies to spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks.
If you offer other discounts to diners
You can use the scheme alongside other offers and discounts you are offering.
To calculate the value of the transaction and make a claim to HMRC, you must first apply any special offers, vouchers or discount schemes you might be promoting or accepting and deduct any service charge.
You will only be reimbursed for the qualifying discounts you provide as part of the scheme.
If you do not want to offer a 50% discount
You cannot change the terms of the scheme, the discount you offer must be 50%.
What counts as a ‘diner’
A diner is any person, adult or child, for whom food or drink is being purchased for consumption on premises. A diner does not need to be the paying customer.
Applying the £10 per person cap to a single bill
Where there is more than one diner on a single bill, the cap does not need to be calculated for each individual diner based on their specific orders. Instead, the discount that is applied to the overall bill should be capped at the number of diners multiplied by £10.
Example of applying the cap to a £60 bill
A group of four diners (2 adults and 2 children) spend £60, including £10 on alcoholic beverages. There is a 10% service charge bringing the pre-discount bill to £66.
|Bill before service charge and discount||£60.00|
|Amount spent on alcohol||£10.00|
|Amount that discount can be applied to||£50.00|
|Discount to customers (50% of 50)||£25.00|
|Bill after discount is applied||£41.00|
The total discount is £25, which is £6.25 per diner and is below the £10 per diner cap.
Example of applying the cap to a £100 bill
A group of four diners (2 adults and 2 children) spend £100, including £10 on alcoholic beverages. There is a 10% service charge bringing the pre-discount bill to £110.
|Bill before service charge and discount||£100.00|
|Amount spent on alcohol||£10.00|
|Amount that discount can be applied to||£90.00|
|Uncapped discount to customers (50% of 90)||£45.00|
|Capped discount (£10 per diner)||£40.00|
|Bill after discount is applied||£70.00|
The uncapped discount is £45, which is £11.25 per diner and is above the £10 per diner cap. The discount is therefore capped at £40.
Contact, help and further support from HMRC
Get more information about the scheme
We are helping restaurants by providing:
- guidance on how to register on GOV.UK
- free live webinars which explain how the scheme works, provides examples and allows you to ask questions
- YouTube video explaining how the scheme works
- webchat service - available from 13 July 2020
- a dedicated helpline for restaurants - available from 13 July 2020
- guidance on how to make claim on gov.uk
Get promotional material to use in your establishment
You can download free assets to help you promote the scheme. We will also send restaurants who register a display sticker so people can see they are participating. The government will also promote the scheme using radio, media and advertising. Restaurants and establishments who have registered will be published on GOV.UK so the public can see who is taking part.
Using your own promotional material to advertise that you’re using the scheme
We know that restaurants have their own branding and client base. We welcome restaurants marketing the scheme themselves but would encourage you to use the campaign logo, which will be an important point of reference for the customer.
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