Eat Out to Help Out starts in August. A 50% discount to your customers should help. To qualify for government support for the scheme, your business needs to be registered. Registration starts on Monday, 13 July. If you want to be able to offer the discount to your customers, you need to be registered.
What is the scheme?
If you sell food for immediate consumption on the premises and you have an area for the food to be eaten, you probably qualify for the scheme. You must also have been registered with the local authority as a food business on or before 7 July. There are a few more conditions and if you have any doubt, check.
The scheme is for the month of August only.
The scheme specifically says you cannot register premises which only supply takeaways. It also excludes catering for private functions, mobile food vans/trailers, catering for private functions and hotels with room service only – although hotels with dining rooms are ok.
You also need to be aware that it only applies for meals eaten “on the premises”. If you have an outdoor seating area or put tables on a pavement, meals sold to people sitting in these may not qualify. Guidance is a little unclear on this point; it refers to “informal seating areas” as not qualifying. Our interpretation (although this may not be correct) is that if the outside area is designated as part of your premises (ie it is classified as part of the premises for business rates) you will probably be ok.
An exception is if your premises are in a shopping centre and share a designated dining area with other outlets. These premises will qualify.
Once registered, a restaurant can discount meals by 50% (up to a maximum of £10). The discount only applies to food and specifically excludes alcoholic drinks and service charges.
That is a discount per person. So, if there are five people, the discount can be £50. Note that the discount can be calculated on the total bill. You don’t have to identify what each individual eats. However, you can’t apply a discount for someone who doesn’t eat.
Registered businesses can apply the scheme on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August.
Once registered, promotional material can be obtained.
Each place offering the scheme must be registered. If you operate more than one outlet, you must register each one individually, although there are special arrangements for registering 25 or more premises.
Unfortunately, we can’t register for you. Accountants and other advisers are specifically excluded so you have to do it yourself. Of course, we will help as much as we can.
Registration can start from Monday, 13 July. At the time of writing this, the link to the website for registering wasn’t available. We will try to add it as it becomes available.
The link to register your business has been confirmed – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme
In order to register you will need:
Your Government Gateway ID and password. You may not have one but you can create on during the registration process)
The business bank account – important if you want to be paid quickly.
You may also be asked for one or more of these:
VAT registration number (if you have one)
PAYE scheme reference number (if you have one)
Unique Tax Reference (either company, partnership or personal)
You will be given a registration number and be able to download promotional material and will be added to a list of registered establishments.
This is a bit vague at the moment. However, you must keep a record of the number of customers who have used the scheme, total value of transactions and the total discounts given.
We think the claim process will be via a web form, similar to the one used for furlough. Quite how detailed it will be, we don’t know. However, HMRC will have the right to inspect records – so please keep good records. We don’t want to be trying to untangle incomplete records in a couple of years. We will be happy to help with bookkeeping questions to ensure sensible recordng.
No claims can be made until 7 August and claims can be made weekly. Approved claim amounts will usually be made into the bank within five working days from the date of claim.
The claim process will close after 30 September – so you have one month to submit your final claim.
The information above is based on our understanding of the scheme operation. Full details, when published, may be different. Please read all of the details.
Of course, we will support all our affected clients as much as possible. Our staff are available. Call us if you need help.
If you aren’t currently a client but need help, we will do our best. Existing clients will always be helped first.
You can contact us by:
Telephone – 01509 816150
Email – email@example.com
Webform – below