These Sheffield pubs and bars are extending the Eat Out to Help Out offer throughout September

As it stands, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme giving diners half-price meals in pubs, cafés and restaurants is set to end on August 31 – with no official confirmation from the Government as to whether the state-backed initiative will be extended.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 1:06 pm

But one of Sheffield’s biggest food and drink operators has pre-empted any decision by announcing that it will continue to offer the discount regardless.

True North Brew Co, which runs 12 venues including The Broadfield on Abbeydale Road, The Riverside at Kelham Island, city centre bar The Forum and The York in Broomhill, has said it will carry on giving customers 50 per cent off until September 30.

The firm's offer will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays as before, and will apply to sit-down meals consumed on the premises only – but in a departure from the Government’s policy which limits the discount to £10 per person, there will be no cap at True North venues.

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The Riverside pub at Kelham Island. Picture: Nik Farah.

According to figures from the Treasury, Eat Out to Help Out was used more than 35 million times in its first two weeks, a number chancellor Rishi Sunak said was ‘equivalent to over half of the UK taking part’. Nationally more than than 85,000 restaurants have registered with the £500 million scheme, which is intended to boost the struggling hospitality sector in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. Venues can claim back the discounted money via HMRC.

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True North's move comes after its managing director, Kane Yeardley, said the initiative meant ‘Monday is the new Saturday’.

"It's been very good," Kane told The Star earlier this month. "Generally, trade is down – apart from the effect of Eat Out to Help Out. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we've basically been fully booked on those nights. It's definitely influenced people who might have been a bit unsure or uncomfortable about coming back into pubs."

Kane Yeardley, of True North Brew Co. Picture: Dean Atkins.

He added: “It should be extended for three months.”

In its announcement, True North said: “Eat Out to Help Out was designed to encourage people back to their favourite venues and True North is keeping the momentum going for another month. We're not capping the discount and it will be applied automatically when you pay.”

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The newly refurbished Punch Bowl pub in Crookes Picture Scott Merrylees