Launching on 3rd August 2020, the new Government ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme aims to serve a lifeline to the UK’s hospitality sector as it emerges from lockdown. Designed to encourage customers back into restaurants, bars and cafes, the campaign aims to boost consumer confidence to kickstart the economy.

Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his budget on 8th July 2020, customers dining out throughout August will be able to claim 50% of their food bill, up to a maximum discount of £10 per person.

With over 100 different places to eat in Guildford town centre, “there has never been a better time to Experience Guildford in terms of its diverse range of food offerings”, says the town’s Business Improvement District.

From longstanding independent restaurants, Olivo and La Casita, award-winning cafés such as Coffee Culture, to the far-flung menus of Shah’s Secreto and street food hit, Meat the Greek, Guildford has a smorgasbord of great dishes to dive into this summer. Combine this with all your favourite brand-led chains, such as Cosy Club, Giggling Squid, Côte and Franco Manca, add the town’s great range of multi-site and independent pubs, and eating out in Guildford this August for less is shaping up to be a pretty tasty affair.

Amanda Masters, CEO of Experience Guildford says;

“We’re delighted to back this campaign introduced by the Government and urge residents and visitors to Guildford to make the most of this offer to help the town’s dining out venues get back on their feet. The UK hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They have also been one of the most resourceful, working hard with Government organisations to ensure that customers feel safe to return to their venues whilst aiding the NHS ‘track and trace’ initiative to help reduce the impact should further outbreaks occur.

“As a Purple Flag accredited town, our venues are well-known to place the safety and wellbeing of their customers as top priority. The post-lockdown era builds upon this commitment, with measures in place across the board to reassure diners of a safe and warm welcome when they return. We’re proud of the fabulous venues we have here in Guildford, and, with this initiative, we have the opportunity to show them our support to ensure that these great establishments will remain an integral part of our high street going forward.”

Jane Lyons, Independent Publican of The Keep in Guildford and chair of Guildford Pubwatch adds;

“The Government’s “Eat out to help out” scheme running in August, is a great opportunity for the hospitality trade, offering a platform to encourage footfall and develop further trade to assist the recovery after “lockdown” which is most welcome.”

Amber Wood, Managing Director of The Cosy Club continues;

“We’re really encouraged by the government’s support with this new scheme during August and we hope that it encourages even more of our wonderful guests to come back to The Cosy Club this Summer. Our team have been working hard to ensure guest safety is paramount and it’s been so wonderful to see our building bustling with life again.”

Cllr John Redpath, Lead Councillor for Economy says:

“We are really looking forward to seeing Guildford flourishing once again and this scheme will help. Our wonderful historic town has many fantastic places to eat and drink and we remain the only town in Surrey with the prestigious Purple Flag Award for the diverse range we have on offer.

“The pandemic has been an incredibly tough period for our local bars, pubs and restaurants and this government scheme will help encourage and enable residents to eat out again. We will continue to help local businesses where possible and have so far, provided over £1 million in discretionary grants and over £21 million in grants funded by the government. We have recently agreed a new town centre masterplan which over time will help ease economic pressures and support all of our businesses including those in the hospitality sector.

“We are also happy to confirm that from 3 – 31 August, all pay and display car parks will be free from 4pm, Monday to Wednesday – excluding the Castle car park, York Road, Tunsgate and Farnham Road. Visitors will be able to come into town, park for free and save money eating out. We hope this is a welcome offer for our families as many of us holiday at home this year. We look forward to seeing you all back in your favourite restaurants in the coming weeks.“

The free parking initiative will apply to all pay and display car parks throughout the town centre, namely Bedford Road, Bedford Road Surface, Mary Road, Leapale Road, Old Police Station, North Street, G Live, Millbrook, Commercial road, Upper High Street car parks. It does not include on-street locations (so excludes Millmead) or pay on foot car parks (such as York Road, Castle, Tunsgate and Farnham Road car parks). Bright hill is also currently unavailable as this is being used to support NHS key workers at this time.

The ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme runs Monday to Wednesday from 3rd to 31st August at all participating restaurants. Keep an eye on www.experienceguildford.com for more information on the campaign, details of Guildford Borough Council’s free parking initiative and a link to the Government’s page detailing the full list of outlets within a 2-mile radius of your location that are involved in the offer https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-a-discount-with-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme