Barclaycard Payments data shows positive impact of Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme

Barclaycard Payments data shows positive impact of Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme

  • Spending in UK restaurants and fast food outlets was up 34.2 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, compared to the same days in July
  • Wednesdays saw the biggest increase during ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, as spend grew 39.7 per cent month-on-month
  • Four in ten Brits made use of the scheme, and almost one in five plans to continue eating out more often to support the industry
  • While the Scheme gave the restaurant industry a boost, figures remain behind where they were in 2019

With many UK restaurants and fast food outlets signing up to the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly 40 per cent of all transactions in the UK, shines a light on the scheme’s impact on both restaurant revenues and consumer behaviour.

Barclaycard Payments data shows that Brits took advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme, with diners spending 34.2 per cent more at restaurants and fast food outlets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August than they did in July. In addition, with businesses able to claim back the discounts given during the scheme – up to £10 per diner –revenues will be boosted even further.

Demonstrating consumer appetite for the Scheme, the number of transactions also grew by 33.7 per cent. However, the average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained fairly stable, rising from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August, indicating that the discount encouraged diners to order more food and non-alcoholic drinks, in order to spend roughly the same amount overall.

Outside ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, Thursdays to Sundays in August also saw strong growth compared to July, with total spending in restaurants and fast food outlets up 33 per cent. While Sunday remained the most popular day to head out for food in August, Wednesdays received the biggest uplift during ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, with spend growing by 39.7 per cent month-on-month.

Consumer attitudes towards ‘Eat Out to Help Out’

This data is supported by Barclaycard research among consumers, which found that almost four in ten Brits (38 per cent) made use of the scheme, with 52 per cent of these diners choosing to eat out on Mondays to Wednesdays specifically because of the Government discounts.

UK restaurants can also take comfort in the fact that, of those consumers who have taken advantage of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, almost one in five (19 per cent) plans to continue eating out more often to support the industry, and 18 per cent will return to restaurants they would not have otherwise visited without this incentive.

Yet, despite the uplifts seen since restaurants first started to reopen in early July, it’s clear that social distancing measures and ongoing consumer cautiousness are still having a significant impact. Barclaycard Payments data shows that, year-on-year, the total value of transactions across restaurants and fast food outlets in August was down 7 per cent compared to August 2019, and the total number of transactions was down 11.6 per cent for the same period.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s clear that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.

“Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise. Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.”

eat out to help out graphic

Above: Impact of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’

  • Fries: Week-on-week growth in transaction value, from week 28 to week 35
  • Burger: Restaurant transactions in August, split by day of the week*
  • Drink: Drop in total transaction value between August 2019 and August 2020

Notes to editors

* Burger graph also available for July, for comparison

The data in this release represents UK spending through Barclaycard’s payments processing systems (e.g. Barclaycard card machines in stores), regardless of card type or issuer.

It is not data taken from spending on Barclaycard’s consumer credit cards. Therefore, please do not refer to Barclaycard credit cards when writing about the source of the data.

The consumer research in this press release was carried out between 21 August and 24 August 2020 by Longitude Research on behalf of Barclaycard. There were 2,002 respondents, providing a representative sample of UK consumers by age, gender, region, and income group.

For more information, please contact:

Oliver Stevenson, Media Relations, +44 (0) 207 116 3837,

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit. In the UK we process nearly £1 in every £3 spent using credit and debit cards, and in 2019 we processed over £272bn in transactions globally. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

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