An organised dad has managed to save over £200 from the Eat Out to Help Out restaurant scheme – and plans to use the money on trips away with his daughter.
Daniel Davies-Luke, from Hartlepool, set out all his savings on a spreadsheet – which has so far totalled £218 – from all the meals out during the government-backed initiative.
While some waiting staff have found working during Eat Out to Help Out a negative experience, the opposite is true for Davies-Luke.
Together with daughter Luna, six, the pair have managed to eat out on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday since the scheme started on 3 August.
Davies-Luke, who runs local food page North East Tea Time Grub, told Yahoo News UK that eating out is already a “big passion”, adding: “I would always have been eating out anyhow, but the savings simply meant it kicked into overdrive.”
About 8% of the country's workforce, or 2.4 million people, work in the hospitality, accommodation and attractions sector, which was badly hit during the coronavirus lockdown.
With many smaller restaurants relying heavily on regular custom, Davies-Luke explained that he felt it was important to try to visit as many independent establishments as possible.
He said: “Independents was a big thing for me and also a chance for my daughter to try new foods because she loves eating out.
“The big one for us was Big Bamboo in Hartlepool. It has just moved from a small takeaway site to a larger premises literally as lockdown hit.”
Some 85,000 restaurants signed up to the government-backed initiative, which enables restaurants to take off 50% from the bill, up to £10, and then claim the money back.
It has meant Davies-Luke, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), can use the money he has saved to do more things with his daughter.
He said: “I have MS so I love spending time with my daughter and sharing experiences with her as I know one day it may be more difficult.
“That's what helped fund out trip to Edinburgh and this week she's in York with her nana and I've booked them tables in a pub last night and tonight they are going for an Indian.
“So it's allowed for a cheaper trip to York.”
Davies-Luke revealed that he has more restaurants lined up for the rest of the month and any leftover savings will go towards a trip to Lapland in December.
Eat Out to Help Out is due to end at the end of August, with no current plans to see it extended.