Major UK chains including Nando's, Burger King and Pizza Hut have signed up for the new "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the scheme this week to give diners a 50 per cent discount off their bills during August.

It is to help bolster the embattled hospitality sector.

It comes after pubs and restaurants reopened last Saturday after more than three months in lockdown, with safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Announcing the scheme, Mr Sunak said it was aimed at getting “customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs” and protecting “the 1.8 million people who work in them”.

Chorley Citizen: RURAL: Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak announced the new Eat Out To Help Out this week

The incentive is part of a mini-Budget package to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.

A leisure scheme like this has never been tried before in the UK, with the Chancellor telling the Commons that the "moment is unique" and calls on policymakers to be "creative".

Mr Sunak added: "So, to get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs, and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them, I can announce that, for the month of August, we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out to Help Out discount."

How will it work for customers?

The deal means people can get up to £10 off per head if they eat out from Monday to Wednesday.

There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme.

Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

Customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.

How will it work for businesses?

Businesses can claim the money back from the government and will be able to register through a website that opens on Monday, July 13.

Takeaways, catering companies, mobile food vans and hotels that provide room service only are not eligible for the scheme.

Businesses must have their own or shared dining areas and be registered with the council on or before 7 July to be able to register.

Businesses that sign up will be able to download promotional materials and will be added to a public list of registered establishments.

How will the announcement help the economy?

It's believed it will breathe life into the UK tourism and leisure industries too, which has suffered huge blows throughout the pandemic.

Eight in 10 workers in the accommodation and food services sector have been furloughed, according to the Office for National Statistics.

So far, the coronavirus crisis has claimed a number of restaurant chains, including Carluccio's and Chiquito, with chains such as Frankie & Benny's and Pret also announcing branch closures.

Who has signed up already?

  • Burger King
  • Frankie & Benny's
  • Harvester
  • Nando's
  • Pizza Hut
  • Toby Carvery
  • Wagamama
  • All Bar One
  • Browns