LONDON (Reuters) - Food sales in British pubs and restaurants rose by nearly a third in the week that followed the launch of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out subsidy scheme, data consultancy firm CGA said on Thursday.
Food sales in Britain's managed pubs and group restaurants were up by between 95% and 106% on the first three days of the scheme which launched on Monday, Aug. 3, compared with the same days during the previous week.
Sales fell over the next four days, when the discounts did not apply, but left the week-on-week increase at 31%, CGA - which specialises in the bar and restaurant sector - said, based on data from 7,000 outlets.
British finance minister Rishi Sunak launched the scheme in an attempt to help the hospitality sector which was hammered by the government's coronavirus lockdown and to get people back into town and city centres.
It offers 50% off the bill for eat-in food and drink - up to 10 pounds ($13.09) per person and excluding alcohol - on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.
Data from booking firm Opentable has shown year-on-year increases of between 5 and 48% in the number of diners at reopened restaurants in Britain on the days that the scheme has been open for use.
Falls on the other days of the week ranged from 20 to 31%.
Around 1.8 million people are employed in bars, cafes and restaurants in Britain.
Sunak has also cut value-added tax for the hospitality industry.
(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Sarah Young)