Restaurant spending 'up 34%' in August thanks to Eat Out to Help Out scheme
Eat Out to Help Out might be over but statistics show that it’s had a huge impact.
Four in ten people used the government’s scheme throughout August, according to Barclaycard Payments, which processes 40% of all transactions in the UK.
The data shoes that diners spent 34.2% more at restaurants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August than they did in July.
This accounts for the final bill and doesn’t include the discounts that restaurants will be able to claim back. The scheme gave 50% off up to £10 per diner with the government covering the costs.
Customers ordered more food but spent roughly the same amount overall, using the discount to cover the extra. The average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays rose only slightly from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August.
More people ate out during the scheme, with the number of transactions also growing by 33.7%.
Surprisingly, the scheme also encouraged people to eat out on the days there wasn’t a discount.
Total spending from Thursdays to Sundays in August was up 33%.
Sunday remained the most popular day to head out for food in August, Wednesdays received the biggest uplift during ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, with spend growing by 39.7% month-on-month.
Further research by Barclaycard found that 38% of people in the UK made use of the scheme, with 52% of these diners choosing to eat out on Mondays to Wednesdays specifically because of the Government discounts.
Going forward, almost one in five (19%) plans to continue eating out more often to support the industry, and 18% said they will return to restaurants they would not have otherwise visited without this incentive.
Sadly, when comparing the data year-on-year, rather than month-on-month, the total value of transactions across restaurants and fast food outlets in August was down 7% compared to August 2019, and the total number of transactions was down 11.6% for the same period.
Of course, Barclaycard doesn’t cover all card payments as some places use other companies, and some people could pay in cash so the data is just an estimate.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: ‘It’s clear that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.
‘Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise. Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.’
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