It’s August, which means it’s Eat Out to Help Out month. It might be confusing to understand – but it’s actually a great way to get VERY cheap food. Here’s all you need to know.
You know it’s a weird year when having a pint at the pub, or sitting down for a Big Mac is considered a luxury. But this month, you can feast of those luxuries, at prices never seen before.
It’s all because of a government scheme, to encourage people to go out and help the food industry after months of having no customers.
It’s called Eat Out to Help Out, and is valid in thousands of restaurants around the country.
What is Eat Out to Help Out?
Eat Out to Help Out is a government scheme announced by Rishi Sunak in his summer statement. It enables you to get 50% off food and drink at restaurants around the country.
The 50% is taken off automatically, so when you receive your bill, it will be 50% less than the normal price (but menus will likely still show the full price).
The discount will be charged back to the government from the restaurants, so they won’t be out of pocket and their customers can enjoy the same food at lower prices.
Nothing like this has ever been offered before, and of course, it’ll mean there are a lot of ways to use it to your advantage (more on that later).
When is Eat Out to Help Out available?
The offer is valid from Monday to Wednesday throughout August, and is valid on breakfast, lunch and dinner purchases – as well as your drinks.
As said before, it is taken off automatically – there is no coupon or voucher required for you to claim it.
So if you are going about your daily life on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this month, you may unexpectedly stumble across a discount.
The deal gets you up to £10 off your food bill each, so if you spend more than £20 on your individual meal, you’ll have to pay full price on the rest.
It’s valid for each individual person dining, so if you had 6 people at your table, you could get a max of £60 off.
The discount does not apply to alcohol unfortunately, so if you’re having a meal – make sure it’s a soft drink if you want the money off.
Where can you use it?
As it doesn’t cost restaurants anything to sign up (and it’s basically bringing customers in their doors for them) – a lot of big names have signed up, as well as small local restaurants.
There is a full list of restaurants, cafés and eating establishments on the government’s website here.
You’re able to search who is taking part in the offer in your local area. So check out those independent cafés who might also need some business.
In terms of the larger chains that are nationwide, there is a large selection to choose from.
With the chains, every restaurant within the chain around the country are involved – so there shouldn’t be any doubt when you walk in the doors.
Some of the most notable ones include:
- Toby Carvery
- Costa Coffee
- Burger King
- Pizza Express
- Pizza Hut
- Pret A Manger
What deals can you get with it?
Now’s on to the exciting part. The fact that you can get 50% off food and drink is exciting enough – but in a lot of cases, you can actually stack offers to get even more money off.
Restaurants are willing and able to still keep its normal offers running alongside the government scheme.
So, if you found a 25% off voucher for food, you can use that as well as the automatic government scheme. Discounts that are offers by the restaurant are taken off first though.
So say your bill is £10 and you have a 25% voucher on top of the government scheme. Your bill will reduce to £7.50 after the restaurant deal, and then drop to £3.75 thanks to Eat Out to Help Out.
I’ve been scouring through every restaurant to see where the amazing sweet spots are, and I’ve found quite a few that any MoneySaver would be proud of!
Nando’s 1/4 chicken + 2 sides – Was £6.75, Now £2.70
After the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – it’s now £3.38.
If you have the 20% off NHS/emergency services discount – it drops even further to £2.70.
Pizza Hut medium pizza – Was £14.99, Now £2.50
There’s an offer on at the moment to get medium pizzas for just £5.
After the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – it drops to £2.50 for a medium pizza.
Toby Carvery roast dinner – Was £7.29, Now £2.88
If you head onto Toby Carvery’s website, you’ll see there’s an offer in the top corner, that gets you 25% off your meal if you sign up to their newsletter.
After this and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, the price of your Carvery down to £2.88 a head.
Burger King Whopper, Chicken Royal or Veggie Bean burger – Was £5.49, Now £1
If you download the Burger King app, there are plenty of deals on there that you can claim.
One of them is a Whopper, Chicken Royal or Veggie Bean burger for just £1.99.
After the Eat Out to Help Out discount, you can get it for just £1.
Wetherspoons cheese & ham sandwich + drink – Was £3.69, Now £1.85
No vouchers with this one! Wetherspoon’s lunch options (available all day) include a sandwich or wrap with a drink included for £3.69.
After the Eat Out to Eat Out scheme, it’s just £1.85. Cheaper than a drink on it’s own!
These deals are just the beginning of the types of discounts you might see. Be sure to have a look for yourself too as to what takes your fancy.
I wrote an article here too about how to get breakfast, lunch and dinner in a day for £4.17.
A few quick tips
There are some great deals to be had here – and I have a few extra tips to make them even sweeter:
If you’re at a restaurant wanting a 3 course meal, but adding desert on would push your total over £20 (meaning you wont get a discount on it) – no matter.
You can use the scheme as many times a day you want at every restaurant. So simply head over to another restaurant for desert to make a saving there too.
If you’re signed up to Meerkat Meals or Tastecard, your discounts with them will also stack alongside Eat Out to Help Out.
You usually get 2for1 meals with these schemes, so if a restaurant is available with Eat Out to Help Out as well, you’ll get 2for1, then 50% off again! That gets you 75% off the normal price.
If you’re not signed up to Meerkat meals – you can get it for a whole year for just £3.
It works on a lot of coffee shops too, so if you want a Starbucks latte or a tea from Costa – you can fill your boots!
See my blog here on how you can use it to get a Costa coffee for 32p.
Loyalty schemes are still continuing to work throughout August, so if you keep eating at your favourite restaurant, you can rack up points for more free meals.
Do have a look at the terms and conditions of each scheme though – as you may have to spend above certain amounts to earn points.
The deal doesn’t work on Drive-Thru orders (strangely enough). So if you’re going to a restaurant and wanted to take food home – simply park up and go in to order, and take it away with you.
It may seem like a farce, but it’ll save you 50% on the cost.
So as you can see, there are a lot of great opportunities available with this discount from the government.
There are far more discounts and opportunities other than the ones above – so it’ll be a great month for trying to find your own cheapest meals.
I hope this blog has helped you understand, and given a bit of inspiration to go and find some cheap deals.