Restaurants in Kent claimed for nearly 2.5 million meals through the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative last summer.
The data released by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs today reveals the extent of diners in the county taking advantage of the scheme, which was rolled out following the re-opening of restaurants in July.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Government would pick up 50 per cent of restaurant bills three days a week throughout August in a bid to boost the struggling hospitality sector’s income following the easing of restrictions in the first coronavirus lockdown.
Figures show that 1,450 businesses across Kent & Medway claimed through the scheme, with 2.48m meals claimed.
HMRC picked up a £12,998,000 bill for people venturing back out to onto the Kent & Medway dining scene – a hefty cost but well under the price tag of the discount claimed by London’s 10,049 restaurants using the scheme, which claimed back £105m.
The average amount claimed for by Kent & Medway outlets was £9,207, while the average discount per meal in the region worked out as £5.32.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was designed to protect 2 million jobs in hospitality nationwide, an industry whose employees are at high risk of long-term unemployment in the event of redundancy.
It protected jobs across the county and the UK by bringing back 400,000 people from furlough nationwide, whilst safely restoring consumer confidence.
The Shepway Vox Team
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