Meals claimed in Torbay under the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme totalled 155,000, new statistics show.

Eat Out to Help OutEat Out to Help Out

In Torbay, 153 easteries signed up, the the total discount claimed was £815,000.

The average discount per meal in Torbay was £5.28.

Across Devon, more than 1.7 million meals were claimed - and more than 100 million meals across the UK.

A total of 84,700 eateries signed up, including 1,539 in Devon and 6,671 across the South West, for the scheme that ran throughout August.

In the South West, Devon topped the table in terms of restaurants registered, meals claimed and discount claimed - more than £8.7million.

Eateries in the North Devon constituency claimed the most meals - 239,000 - in the county, followed by East Devon - 202,000 - and Totnes - 180,000. All three constituencies topped £1million in discounts claimed.

On average, each registered restaurant in Devon claimed 1,129 discounted meals – 87 a day for the 13 eligible days.

Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster said:“The figures show the impact Eat Out to Help Out has had across our Bay, giving many businesses a welcome boost as the sun shone during August.

“Support from the Government is helping keep our Bay in business and ensuring we build back better from the economic impacts of the coronavirus.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the hospitality industry – so crucial in Torbay and the wider South West – after a challenging few months because of coronavirus.

The scheme is credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year.

Data from OpenTable shows bookings increased by an average of 52 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.

Eat Out to Help Out was part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, a £30billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus.

The Government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20 per cent to five per cent, until January 2021.

The Chancellor said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before. These figures show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success.

“I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.

“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”