With about 84,700 participating establishments and 100 million subsidised meals served, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a success. The scheme ended on 31st of August 2020 and the last day for filing the claim for participating establishments is 30th September 2020.
The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme has been designed to incentivise people to eat in your eating establishment, such as a restaurant by offering them a discount that you can later claim from the government. This scheme has been introduced throughout the UK, and customers can see the participating businesses using a postcode on gov.uk. This scheme is a way to drum up businesses that have been affected due to the lockdown caused by the pandemic and bring in customers on days that are generally quiet for restaurants. This can help restaurants, and food joints build their business when it’s not been doing too well.
Businesses eligible for the Scheme
There are a number of eligible establishments where food is sold for on-premise consumption. These include:
- Hotel Restaurants
- Public Houses Serving Food
- School Canteens
- Workplaces and Dining Rooms in Clubs and much more
You can register for the Eat Out to Help Out if you meet the following conditions:
If your establishment:
- Was registered with the relevant local authority as a food business on or prior to 7th July 2020.
- Is in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England.
- Offers its own dining space or alternatively shares an area for dining for eat-in meals with another establishment.
- Sells food on the premises for immediate consumption.
It is noteworthy that even if you have registered for schemes such as the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can still register for this restaurant scheme. Moreover, you will be an eligible candidate for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme if you submit your application for operation as a food business on or before July 7th 2020 to the applicable local authority.
How to register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme?
To register for the scheme, you will need the following:
- The date of the commencement of your trading business.
- The address and name of all establishments to be registered (in case you are registering for over 25 establishments, you needn’t fulfil this criterion).
- Your business bank account address that is present on the bank statements.
- The ID and password of the Government Gateway for your business (you must register for it if you do not already have one).
- The sort code and account number of your UK bank account for the business.
- VAT registration number for the business (if applicable)
- Corporation Tax, Partnership Self Assessment or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference.
- Reference number of the employer PAYE scheme.
Here, it is important to remember that you cannot apply for the scheme through an agent. When it comes to this scheme, speed is of utmost importance. Hence, using tax agents to apply for you would not be too feasible as it would take longer time. The process of registration and claims is quite easy for individuals to follow. Hence, it is preferred that you register yourself without the help of any third party.
Eligible expenditure to get the discount
The discount applies to food and non-alcoholic drinks in eating establishments that are bought for immediate consumption at the food joint. A maximum of £10 discount per diner can be used (VAT inclusive). This discount includes packaged snacks and soft drinks. The only condition is that they should be consumed on the premises immediately. Also, there is no minimum spend requirement for the customers.
Ineligible expenditures for the discount
Discounts are not eligible for items such as tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, food or drink sold to events, functions or private parties taking place at an eating establishment and those that are consumed outside the premises.
Here, it is pertinent to note that when registering for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, you are expected to offer it on all the eligible food and drink sales on all the days you are open and during the complete opening hours. In addition to that, you can offer the discount of this scheme for three days, i.e. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the week when you are open for business. Also, the discount will apply if a customer dines in your establishment and takes the remainder of the meal away.
Some Specific Discount Examples
- Bed & Breakfast Hotels
As mentioned above, this scheme discount can be availed only on the drinks and food that is sold on premises for immediate consumption. Hence, this does not include any drinks and food sold in the full-range of accommodation service.
- Hospitality Packages
This scheme discount can be availed only on the drinks and food that is sold on premises for immediate consumption. Hence, this does not include any drinks and food sold in the full-range of a hospitality package. This scheme discount is applicable to all drinks and food that is sold to an event’s hospitality package separately.
- Canteen Operators
Eligible establishments under this example include school and workplace canteens. This scheme discount is applicable for drinks and food sold to students or employees for consumption on premises immediately. Drinks and food that is paid by the premises’ owner and supplied for free to students and employees are not covered under this discount scheme.
- Event Catering Services
If you sell drinks or food as a restaurant to functions, private parties or events, you cannot apply this discount on everything that is sold in such packages. However, you can apply the scheme discount on drinks and food sold as a part of the restaurant’s normal operations.
- Golf Dinner Services
This scheme discount can be availed only on the drinks and food that is sold on premises for immediate consumption. Hence, this does not include any drinks and food sold in the full-range of a golf package. This scheme discount is applicable to all drinks and food that is sold to an event’s golf package separately.
How to claim money from the scheme?
You can claim the discount after a passage of 7 days from the registration date. You can claim by clicking on this link by entering all the requested details of the establishment accurately. In addition to that, you must check the claim details carefully before the final submission to avoid any hurdles in the process. You can make a total of 5 claims by September 30th and not a day after that.
Records to maintain after the claim
After the money has been claimed from the scheme, you must keep complete records of a list of documents to establish the link between the total number of diners who availed the discount, and the value of discount claimed in each period. The documents that you must keep a record of are:
- Total number of covers or diners who availed of the discount in your food establishment
- The total value of the discounts that you claimed for and gave
- The total value of the non-alcoholic drinks and food that was sold on which the scheme discounts were offered
In case you use the Eat Out To Help Out scheme for over one establishment, there must be complete records for them all. This is because HMRC might ask you to produce the scheme-related documents. This includes keeping records in a format that best suits your business operations or the running of your establishment.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is one-of-a-kind that has been designed to help businesses get back up on their feet. If you need any other details regarding the scheme, feel free to get in touch with us at DNS Accounting Services!