A total of 977,000 meals were claimed in Somerset under the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, new statistics show.
A total of 84,700 eateries signed up, including 1,107 in Somerset and 6,671 across the South West. Over £5million was claimed in discounts across Somerset during August.
The Wells constituency – which includes the Burnham-On-Sea area – saw 144,000 meals claimed during the month, with a total £715,000 discount claimed. The average discount per meal was £4.95. There were 146 outlets taking part across the Wells constituency.
On average, each registered restaurant in Somerset claimed 883 discounted meals – 68 a day for the 13 eligible days.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the local hospitality industry after a challenging few months because of coronavirus.
More than 100 million meals were claimed across the UK under the scheme. The scheme is credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year.
Data from OpenTable shows bookings increased by an average of 52% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.
Eat Out to Help Out was just one part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, an ambitious £30billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus.
The government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20% to 5%, until 12 January 2021.