This is what Sheffield restaurant owners think about a second run of Eat Out To Help Out

Takeaway firm Deliveroo and other restaurant partners have called on the government to reintroduce the popular Eat Out To Help out scheme that ran last for a short period last year – this is what operators of Sheffield eateries think.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 3:20 pm

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Deliveroo and over 300 of its restaurant partners stated that with all restaurants closed due to the current circumstances, many were “under immense financial pressure.”

The letter said: “Without government support to help restaurants to generate revenue and cover costs, tens of thousands of restaurants may be forced to permanently close their doors in the coming months.

The letter adds: “This crisis is far from over and the potential consequences are deeply concerning. A huge number of restaurants across the country are facing the prospect of bankruptcy.”

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Sheffield diners bought 883,000 discounted meals through Eat Out to Help Out

The Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which ran from August 3 last year, was created as a way of increasing demand for the hospitality industry by enticing customers to eat out with 50 per cent discounts up for grabs at their favourite eateries on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs revealed that in Sheffield 883,000 meals were claimed across 487 restaurants under the scheme.

The total amount claimed by Sheffield businesses was £4,812,000 – this resulted in restaurants claiming an average of £9,900.

We have found out what eateries in Sheffield thought of the scheme and how it impacted their trade.

Bruce Payne, who runs The Market Chippy at The Moor Market said that the scheme was a ‘massive success’ and is open to the idea of it returning.

Bruce said: “We had days that were the same as pre lockdown, but obviously the other side of it is that it does bring a lot more people out. I suppose it depends on the time when they bring it in.

“If they bring it in later when there have been more vaccinations and the social distancing is maybe brought down to a meter and a half it would be okay, but it is very hard to predict.

“For the hospitality sector that has been closed for so long now, it would probably give them a massive kickstart.”

He also spoke about how his trade has been impacted by the pandemic, saying: “We've been impacted quite hard because we essentially rely on people that work in the city centre for our trade. A big majority of those are office workers, and they're not there, we don't even know if a big percentage of those are going to come back.

“Two parts of what we miss in the market is the banter with the customers and our footfall. At the moment in the current climate, I think we are down about 75 per cent.

“It’s a massive impact, but we're still plodding along, we've got loyal customers that come out shopping for essentials.”

However, one Sheffield eatery was not a fan of the scheme returning and called it a ‘nonsense’.

They said: “People were wasting their food, they were not enjoying it.

“It was a different calibre of humans that came out, they wanted a good product for less, they wanted somebody else to pay for it.”