Restaurant Visits Ease in The Week Following ‘Eat Out to Help Out’

The growth in visits to Restaurants over the course of August is plateauing, with the Huq Index for Restaurants & Pubs falling 17% from its recent high at the end of the Chancellor’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. Has the boost delivered by the scheme produced a lasting result? How will recent gains continue over the coming weeks without the same levels of government support?

Over 100m meals were bought through ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ in August, and Monday-to-Wednesday became the new ‘weekend’ for many restaurants. According to Huq Index for Restaurants & Pubs, footfall almost tripled from 30% of pre-Covid levels at the end of July to 85% towards the end of August. However, with September bringing the deal to a close, high-frequency geo-data has seen this rapid growth slow.

The scheme clearly had a positive halo effect on consumer confidence beyond Monday-to-Wednesday, with Restaurants, Quick Service Restaurants and Pubs all enjoying more visitors throughout the week. While attendance may have slowed in September, the geo-data suggests that more consumer confidence established throughout August could mean a busier post-Covid sector in the coming months – with or without the Chancellor picking up half the bill.

With many restaurants taking it upon themselves to continuing to extend the offer into September, sport coming back and more confidence overall, further analysis Huq’s Indicators will show how the sector continues to recover.

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