Registrations for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme started yesterday, 13 July 2020. Restaurants and other establishments serving food for on-premises consumption can now sign up to a new government initiative aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry and encouraging people to safely return to dining out.

Restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments who use the scheme will offer a 50% reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to all diners who eat and/or drink-in throughout August.

Customers do not need a voucher and there is no limit to the number of times a customer can use the offer. Participating establishments will just remove the discount from their bill. Businesses can then simply reclaim the discounted amount through an online service, supported by HMRC. Claims can be made on a weekly basis and will be paid into bank accounts within five working days.

The scheme is open to eligible establishments across the UK and can be used all day, every Monday to Wednesday, between 3 and 31 August 2020.

Who can register for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme?

You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

However, cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers

If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be revoked.

What you need to register:

To register, you must have:

  • the Government Gateway ID and password for your business (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)

You may also need your:

  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable)
  • Corporation Tax or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each.

What happens next?

You will be registered instantly and will receive a registration reference number. Keep the number safe… you will need it when you claim the reimbursement.

You’ll be added to a list of registered establishments that will be available to the public. The list of registered establishments is not available yet.

If you want to be removed from the list, you should contact HMRC and they remove you manually. This is not immediate, so you must tell customers that you are no longer offering the discount.

Offering the discount

You cannot offer discounts before 3 August. You must be registered BEFORE you offer the discount.

It is expected that you will offer it during the whole of your opening hours on all the eligible days that you are open and on all qualifying sales of food or drink.

If a customer purchases a meal with the intention of eating it but then takes it away and leaves the premises, you can still apply the discount.

Records you must keep

For each day you’re using the scheme (and for each establishment) you must keep records of the:

  • number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment
  • value of transactions under the scheme
  • total amount of discounts you’ve given

The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020 and will close on 30 September.

You must wait 7 days from registration to make your first claim. HMRC will pay eligible claims within 5 working days.

The Government has provided marketing resources for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. There are posters, images and other promotional materials for use by establishments who are taking part in the Scheme. Click here to download and print.

Finally, if you have any questions or if we can help you in any way give us a call on 01332 292022.