With the government introducing the Eat Out to Help Out scheme at the beginning of August, the UK has seen a huge boost in the number of people eating out and taking advantage of the discount. With restaurants and pubs experiencing a slow return since reopening in July, this has provided them with a most welcomed boost.
Not only is the scheme improving trade in restaurants and cafes across the UK but also our shopping centres and high streets are seeing a much larger increase in footfall. It seems that Rishi Sunak’s scheme has helped to tackle two birds with one stone.
This is good news for the small businesses that have been badly affected by COVID-19; for example, office supply companies that sell equipment and operator chair-type furniture will benefit as more people head back to the office. As many people have been home working since March, their operator chair and other equipment might need refreshing, thus boosting the supply chain. It appears that we are heading in a positive direction, and how nice will it be to go into the office to find a shiny, new operator chair staring back at you?
During the first Monday to Wednesday of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, the number of evening diners rose by 18.9 per cent across the UK. The UK also saw an increase of 9.6 per cent for lunchtime diners. Small towns saw the biggest increase of 25 per cent, while cities saw a climb of 19 per cent. UK retail sales have increased by 13.9 per cent in June, getting closer and closer to pre-lockdown levels. We are bouncing back!
With a lot of Brits jumping on the staycation bandwagon, we are hopeful that supply chains and the high street will continue to grow. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme saw more than 70,000 dining establishments sign up, from independents to cafes and even Michelin-star restaurants. Wherever you are in the UK, you would easily have found somewhere that was part of the scheme.
As we head ever-closer to Christmas and with Brits expected to spend even more this year, this can be nothing but good news for our retail sector, boosting the sales it so crucially needs to survive this gruelling pandemic.