James Shorthouse, Colliers International's Head of Alternative Markets has commented on the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme that starts today:
“The introduction of the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme was a surprise development from Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Budget a few weeks ago however it should certainly encourage people back into our restaurants and re-establish eating out as a normal part of daily life.
“For pubs, bars and restaurants, customers are the key to their livelihood – they help to pay the bills but also, create the atmosphere and buzz in their establishments. So it’s all about enticing the general public back into these environments, getting them into the swing of going out and forming habits once more.
“Staff wages up until this point have largely been taken care of through the furlough scheme however hopefully, this new eat out to help out scheme will also help to provide much needed support and security for the millions of people working in the sector once money is coming back into businesses.
“Yet there are still real concerns about how companies in the sector can pay their bills and overheads, despite them now being able to reopen. Of most concern still is the payment of rent, and the landlord/tenant relationship between property owners and operators. Tenants, in most cases, were not able to pay rent whilst they weren’t trading, which was therefore also putting landlord businesses under financial pressure. Perhaps with more money through the tills, aided by the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme, tenants can start to slowly regain some hold of their profits once more, to ensure that they can continue trading and indeed, have a premises to trade in.”