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Hospitality sector calling for Eat Out To Help Out scheme to be extended

Article Date: 2020-08-20

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls and Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, are among those calling for the government to extend the Eat Out To Help Out scheme for another month.

Kate Nicholls said in a tweet after speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC: “The benefit to consumers, the importance to businesses shows the need to continue it for another month to get the remaining 50% of restaurants and pubs reopen and successfully trading.”

Sacha Lord said of the scheme: “Stopping this next week, combined with rents due and the phasing out of furlough will be a combination leading to closure for many restaurants across the UK.”

More than 35 million means have been bought by people using the discount scheme in the first fortnight, figures from the Treasury revealed this week.

Nicholls told Ferrari of the scheme: “It’s been hugely important to the sector. Restaurants have been able to bring back staff off furlough and crucially it’s benefited trade through the whole week.”

Nicholls said so far 48,000 claims had been made by businesses to the tune of about £180m.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of brewer and retailer Greene King, has suggested the scheme could be extended in a targeted way for city centres.

Greene King has almost 60 out of 95 pubs in the centre of London open and trade is 60% down in like-for-like terms.

Even with the boost of Eat Out To Help Out, like-for-likes sales were 40% to 50% down.

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