Data Shows Positive Impact Of Government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ Scheme

With many UK restaurants and fast food outlets signing up to the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly 40 per cent of all transactions in the UK, shines a light on the scheme’s impact on both restaurant revenues and consumer behaviour.

Barclaycard Payments data shows that Brits took advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme, with diners spending 34.2 per cent more at restaurants and fast food outlets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August than they did in July. In addition, with businesses able to claim back the discounts given during the scheme – up to £10 per diner –revenues will be boosted even further.

Demonstrating consumer appetite for the Scheme, the number of transactions also grew by 33.7 per cent. However, the average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained fairly stable, rising from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August, indicating that the discount encouraged diners to order more food and non-alcoholic drinks, in order to spend roughly the same amount overall.

Outside ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, Thursdays to Sundays in August also saw strong growth compared to July, with total spending in restaurants and fast food outlets up 33 per cent. While Sunday remained the most popular day to head out for food in August, Wednesdays received the biggest uplift during ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, with spend growing by 39.7 per cent month-on-month.

Consumer attitudes towards ‘Eat Out to Help Out’

This data is supported by Barclaycard research among consumers, which found that almost four in ten Brits (38 per cent) made use of the scheme, with 52 per cent of these diners choosing to eat out on Mondays to Wednesdays specifically because of the Government discounts.

UK restaurants can also take comfort in the fact that, of those consumers who have taken advantage of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, almost one in five (19 per cent) plans to continue eating out more often to support the industry, and 18 per cent will return to restaurants they would not have otherwise visited without this incentive.

Yet, despite the uplifts seen since restaurants first started to reopen in early July, it’s clear that social distancing measures and ongoing consumer cautiousness are still having a significant impact. Barclaycard Payments data shows that, year-on-year, the total value of transactions across restaurants and fast food outlets in August was down 7 per cent compared to August 2019, and the total number of transactions was down 11.6 per cent for the same period.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s clear that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.

“Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise. Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.”