UNDER the government’s new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, people could potentially dine out for “cheaper than they could eat at home.”
The initiative, which will allow sit -in diners to benefit from a 50 per-cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, will begin on Monday.
The idea is designed to get more customers through the doors of cafes and restaurants post lockdown thereby protecting jobs by giving businesses the confidence to retain and hire staff.
More than 53,000 businesses across the country have already signed up and participating restaurants within a five mile radius of Strabane town centre include: Murphy’s On the Green; Caffe Milano; Gray’s Tea Room; Golden Palace; Oysters Restaurant; Subway; The Nook coffee shop; McDonald’s; Caffe Fresco; the Fir Trees Hotel; Floyd’s Restaurant in Ballymagorry; The Hidden Pearl at Sion Stables and the Flakey Dove in Clady.
This week proprietor of Murphy’s on the Green in Strabane, Kieran Murphy says it’s a no-lose scheme for both diners and eateries.
“It’s live from Monday, and it’s there to be taken advantage off,” he said. “Basically, if you’re a family of four, you get a maximum of £40 off your bill and then I make an application to government to have that refunded. So if a family of four comes in to me and eats to the tune of £80, then they only pay £40.
“It runs for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the month of August and on those days you can eat out as much as you like.
“If you were careful, you could eat out in cafes or restaurants on those days for cheaper than you could eat at home. The thinking of government is to give restaurants a leg up without giving them a handout. We’re working for the handout and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
Kieran said already the bookings are flying.
“I expect it to be crazy,” he explained. “There’s no catches. And you’re not taking advantage of me. The government want you to take advantage of this scheme. This genuinely is a positive move. I can’t see any flaws in it.”
• To find out if a restaurant is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme you can use the online restaurant finder on Gov.UK. Enter your postcode, or one near where you want to eat out, to get a list of outlets within a five-mile radius.