As Eat Out to Help out comes to an end, Phil Mills, head of food and drink at Exeter firm Old Mill says the scheme may have offered a short term boost, but thinks more needs to be done to help the sector going forward and has concerns that some businesses may have been lulled into a false sense of security by short term measures.
“While any initiatives put in place to help the country’s struggling pubs and restaurants are certainly welcome, I am not sure Eat Out to Help Out is offering the solution we need. Pubs and restaurants are usually pretty busy in August and with so many countries now on the quarantine list, more and more people have opted for a staycation this year so I am not sure pushing demand over the summer holidays was the right solution.
“What the sector really needs is more sustained initiatives that drive demand, not just for a month, but throughout the rest of the year, allowing businesses to find their feet without being lulled into a false sense of security by short term measures. What we don’t want to see is businesses taking on staff to cover a busy August, and then have to let them go when they realise that their model is not sustainable, causing further issues for an industry already struggling to know what the new normal looks like.”