Restaurants can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at their restaurant.
You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:
- all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
- to offer a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)
- to claim the money back from the government
There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Your customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.
Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.
Registration will close on 31 August.
Who can register for Eat Out to Help Out?
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
You 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’ll need
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)
- the date your business started trading
You may also need your:
- VAT registration number
- employer PAYE scheme reference number
- Corporation Tax, Self Assessment or Partnership Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each.
You must register all of your establishments at the same time. It’s not possible to add further establishments later. If you need to correct any information given during registration or amend your registration, you’ll need to contact HMRC.
IF YOU’RE REGISTERING MORE THAN 25 ESTABLISHMENTS
If you’re registering more than 25 establishments that are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one.
You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address.
You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.
You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password.
If you’ve used your Government Gateway user ID for Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, or VAT, you must use your existing user ID and password.
If not, you can use an ‘individual’ Government Gateway user ID, or create a new user ID and choose an ‘individual’ account type.
Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.
What happens next
You’ll be registered instantly and will receive a registration reference number – you’ll need this when you claim the reimbursement.
You can download promotional materials to help you promote the scheme and let your customers know that you’re taking part.
The name and address of your establishment will be added to a list of participating establishments, which will be available to the public. If you’ve registered more than 25 establishments, the website URL will be added as well.
You should contact HMRC if any of your registration information changes.
WHEN YOU START OFFERING THE DISCOUNT
You should include the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme name on the bill when you offer the discount.
You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers. You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.
When you register for the scheme, 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, you must keep records of the:
- total number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment
- total value of transactions under the scheme
- total amount of discounts you’ve given
If you are using the scheme for more than one establishment, you must keep these records for each.
Making a claim
You cannot claim yet. The service you’ll use to claim reimbursements will be available on 7 August 2020.
The service 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.
You will be able to submit claims on a weekly basis.
You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customers’ bills.
Any money you receive through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.
Find out how to claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
Other help you can get
HMRC have published guidance with more information on eligibility and how to offer the discount.
NHS have introduced the test and trace service to help track the spread of coronavirus.
You can contact HMRC about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, if you cannot get the help you need online.
For the latest updates and information, visit https://www.gov.uk/.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing and is very passionate about the hospitality industry.