Happy diners get 50% off food as Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out scheme is launched today

HAPPY diners are already making the most of half price meals up for grabs thanks to the government's new Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Starting from today, the government will pick up 50 per cent of the bill when you dine in at restaurants, cafes and pubs throughout August.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Hundreds of chains, such as Nando's, Pizza Hut and Wagamamas, are offering the discounts – meaning you can pick up a whole meal for under £5 a head.

People were already enjoying the benefits this morning, with Twitter users sharing pictures of their bargain meals on social media.

One user, who nabbed smoked salmon and two poached eggs on breakfast muffins, simply stated: "Thanks for breakfast @RishiSunak."

While another added: "Just got a McDonalds breakfast for £2. This eat out to help out deal isn't going to be good for my waistline."

A third one added pictures of his Subway pictures and said: "£1.90 for a sausage egg and cheese breakfast butty with a coffee and a pack of crisps.

"Good lad @RishiSunak. Tell @BorisJohnson to stick his obesity measures."

While a fourth one decided to go for a full English breakfast with sausages, hash browns, fried eggs and toast for less than £4.

Some retailers, including Wetherspoons, have already dropped prices due to a 15 per cent VAT cut on food and soft drinks making it even cheaper to eat out.

In fact, bargain hunter Jordon Cox has put together his meal plans that shows how you can eat out three times a day for under a fiver all-in.

Here's everything you need to know about Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out scheme:

1. Restaurants have to sign up

Pubs and restaurants don't have to offer you the discount so you'll need to make sure you visit one that is actually running the scheme.

Businesses have to register with the incentive first before claiming the discount back from the government.

Businesses have to register with the incentive first before claiming the discount back from the government.

How will the Eat Out to Help Out scheme work?

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 Gov.uk 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.

It's open to popular chains as well as independent eateries – you can use the postcode checker to find out which pubs and restaurants are doing the deals in your local area.

You'll be able to spot participating restaurants by these government posterswhich have been handed out to put in participating businesses' windows, walls and tables.

The posters feature the brightly coloured Eat Out to Help Out logo, and state that you can get up to £10 per person off meals.

2. It's not available every day of the week

The idea behind the incentive is to increase the number of people eating out on traditionally quieter days of the week.

This means the discounts are only available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays in August.

The scheme launches today, August 3 and runs until the final Monday of the month, August 31.

3. You can use it as many times as you like

There's no limit on how many times you can use it, so in theory you can bag half price breakfast, lunch and dinner on the days you can't bear to cook.

Just remember to eat out on Monday through to Wednesday in August.

4. It can be used on top of other discounts

The half price discount can also be used on top of any other offers the restaurant is running.

How to calculate the bill

THE government will pay for half of your bill, up to £10 a head, when you eat out on certain days of the week in August.

To work out how much your bill will be after the discount is applied, you should start by adding together everything that you ordered.

You'll then need to take off any items that it doesn't cover, such as alcoholic drinks and the service charge.

Then, divide this by two to find out half of the bill.

What if it comes to more than £10 per head?

To check that it comes under the £10 per head cap, divide it again by the number of people who are dining.

If it works out as more than this per person, then you'll need to multiply the number of people eating by £10.

You should then minus the answer from the total cost of the items that the discount can be applied to.

For example, four people eat out and the total bill that the discount can be applied to comes to £90.

Half of the bill would be £45, but that's more than the limit.

So you need to minus £40 (£10 per diner) from £90 to get the amount you will need to pay, which in this case is £50.

For example, you can get a Big Mac and fries from McDonald's for £1 today by stacking an offer than lets you pick up the grub for £1.99 on top of the Eat Out to Help Out deal.

5. How much the government will pay is limited

There's a £10 cap per person, including children, on the amount the government will cover.

It means that an £80 meal out for a family of four will be reduced to £40.

But keen foodies say they'll go beyond the £10 cap by hopping between restaurants for each course.

For example, if a customer racked up a £30 bill on a three-course meal at one restaurant, they'd be charged £20.

But if they visited three different restaurants and spent £10 at each place, they'd only be charged £15 – a saving of £5.

To work out the bill, you'll need divide the total amount by the number of people who are eating out and then halve it.

If the figure comes to under £10 a head then that's how much you'll have to pay.

If the amount is more than a tenner per person then you'll need to minus £10 from the portion each diner is paying.

For example, if the bill for four people comes to £50 that works out at £12.50 per person.

Minus £10 from the £12.50 and you'll each have to pay £2.50.

6. Takeaways and alcohol aren't included

The idea being the scheme is to get bums on seats in restaurants, pubs and cafes to boost consumer confidence.

For that reason, the discounts won't apply to takeaways.

So if you ordered a Big Whopper meal from Burger King on a Monday to eat in your car, you'll have to pay full price.

But if you order the same meal on the same day but chose to sit in, you'll get it half price.

The discount applies to hot drinks too but you'll pay full price if you want to take your coffee out with you.

Alcohol isn't included in the deals either so you'll need to steer clear of it if you want to make the most of the discount.

To work out the bill when you've ordered alcohol, you'll first need to minus the price of booze from the total.

Then you divide the rest in half, and then again by the number of people dining out.

We explained earlier on what to do it the bill comes to more than £10 a head.

7. You can take home leftovers

You read that correctly – you can take home the leftovers.

Because you've dined in, taking home leftovers in a doggy bag isn't counted as a takeaway.

You're entitled to the discount as long as you've sat inside the place where you bought it eat it.

But it's worth noting you won't be able to buy a bargain meal and take it home for someone who's not with you at the time of ordering.

8. It can be used in work canteens and on trains, but not planes

Workers who have to head back to the office can use the discount too when grabbing lunch from the office canteen.

If a train has a specific dining carriage or area that you can sit in to eat the food that you bought on board then the discount can be applied.

But customers who take the food away to eat it elsewhere on the train will have to pay full price.

Holidaymakers won't be able to get half price meals on planes either because they don't have a designated space for dining in.

Source: Read Full Article