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UK’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

UK’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme:

What is it?

The EOHO Scheme is an economic recovery measure by the UK government to support hospitality businesses as they reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.

  • The scheme was announced on July 8 as part of the Plans for Jobs summer economic update.

How it works?

  1. Under the EOHO Scheme, the government would subsidise meals (food and non-alcoholic drinks only) at restaurants by 50 per cent, from Monday to Wednesday every week, all through August.
  2. The discount is capped at GBP 10 per head and does not apply to take-away or event catering.
  3. There is no minimum spend and no limit on the number of times customers can avail the offer, since the whole point of the scheme is to encourage a return to dining in restaurants.

EOHO scheme would cost GBP 500 million.

Why was this scheme deemed necessary?

All over the world, the food services sector is one of the worst affected by the pandemic.

  • In the UK, the top two concerns were customers avoiding restaurants for fear of contracting the virus and customers having less disposable income for dining out.
  • The scheme makes eating out more affordable for consumers directly and helps restore demand.
  • And Restoring consumer demand is being seen as crucial to the UK’s economic recovery.

What do critics of the scheme say?

The scheme may have been introduced too early, since it was not yet clear whether the problem was on the demand side, with people being reluctant to go out and eat, or on the supply side, with restaurants unable to serve enough people, thanks to social distancing.

The scheme benefits everyone, regardless of income. Higher income households would have returned to restaurants anyway.

Sources: Indian Express.