Eat Out to Help Out: Can I take away food with the scheme? Rules explained

The Eat out to Help Out scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this month and will see the Government pick up 50 percent of your food tab. The move comes in a bid to boost the leisure and tourism industry, which has suffered financially following months of closure in lockdown. A leisure scheme like this one has never been tried in the UK before, with the Chancellor telling the House of Commons that the coronavirus “moment is unique” and calls on policymakers to be “creative”.

Can I take away food with the scheme?

The Eat out to Help Out scheme will kick off on August 3 and will apply to meals ordered from Monday to Wednesday, until August 31.

There is a cap of £10 per person but will apply to all food and soft drink orders that are eaten at the place you bought the food.

This means that a family-of-four can get a meal worth £80 down to £40.

However, the scheme does not apply to take away food, and instead, encourages people to dine in restaurants.


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Even though you can’t use the discount for a takeaway, you are allowed to take home any leftover food that you used the discount for when you paid for it.

As long as you started eating the meal on the premises, then you can still get the discount off your food.

Additionally, alcoholic drinks are not included in the restaurant discount voucher scheme.

It doesn’t mean you will have to buy alcohol separately, however, as the restaurant will simply take the money off the food and soft drinks that you bought.


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The scheme can also be used by staff and pupils in work and school canteens, as long as they sit in their work or school canteen to eat it.

It means workers who have to head back to the office can also use the discount for their lunch.

You can use the discount as many times as you like, as long as it’s on orders made on Monday through to Wednesday in August.

The Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme can be used on top of other discounts that the restaurant is operating, such as two-for-one meals.

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Customers can even get money off their coffee orders as long as they sit inside the cafe to drink it.

However, if people want to order a takeaway coffee, they will have to pay full price.

The discount cannot be used at weddings to help pay for the cost of feeding guests.

Food and drink that is sold as part of a wider catering service, including corporate events and private functions, is not included in the service.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will not be able to use the scheme to cover service charges that are directly added onto the bill.

Customers will be able to get half-price meals at food outlets at football stadiums and theme parks – as long as there is a designated seating area.

The discount still applies if the seating area is shares, as long as you stay where you bought your meal to eat it.

It also cannot be used to pay for package deals, such as bed and breakfasts and hotel food.

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