Responding to the Chancellor's summer economic update, Deliveroo CEO Will Shu said:
'The decision to reduce VAT and introduce the "Eat out to Help Out" discount is hugely welcome news for restaurants and pubs across the UK. We are delighted that the Government has listened and taken action after we called for a cut to VAT alongside our restaurant partners.
"While restaurants may be able to open their doors again, without this new Government support many would simply not survive while social distancing measures are in place. This tax cut will be an important lifeline for both small independents and high street family favourite restaurants.
"It is also a recognition from the Government of just how important this sector is to our economy and to our communities. Restaurants are at the heart of the high street and they are at the heart of Deliveroo. The Government has taken a number of positive steps to help the restaurant community during the pandemic and we will keep working with our partners to make sure they get the support needed to avoid us losing this essential element of British life."
Notes to Editors
The Chancellor has today announced a number of measures which will help the restaurant industry during the Covid-19 crisis:
- A VAT cut on food, including hot takeaway food from 20% to 5% for the next 6 months.
- A new "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme that will provide a 50% discount of up to £10 a head for customers eating in a restaurant between Monday and Wednesday each week in August
- A new Job Retention Bonus for £1,000 for businesses who bring back employees from furlough and retain them in a job until January.
Last month Deliveroo and 90 of its restaurant partners, including the CEOs of major brands such as Itsu, Pizza Hut, Pret A Manger and wagamama, wrote to the Prime Minister to call for urgent support for the restaurant industry. The key policy proposals included:
- Cutting VAT on restaurant food
- Introducing "mortgage holidays" for commercial landlords and an extension of the moratorium on evictions The Government has already announced an extension of the moratorium.
- Maintaining the Job Retention Scheme for the restaurant sector and subsidising wages of restaurant staff through the Scheme if they return full time.
- Offering grants to help restaurants meet the cost of becoming COVID-secure such as installation of screens or wash basins, purchase of furniture, or changes to toilet facilities
- Championing the role of local restaurants in helping to boost the economy and communicating the facts to the public about food safety
- Changing planning law to enable restaurants to adapt operations more easily such as allowing restaurants to provide takeaway services and enabling pubs and restaurants with on-site alcohol licenses to sell alcohol via takeaway and delivery services. These measures form part of the Government's Business and Planning Bill.
Deliveroo's full policy submission to the Government can be found here.
Deliveroo has also launched a range of initiatives to support restaurants during the pandemic and to help them adapt to the new economic environment. The company has:
- Developed a new in-app function "Table Service" which enables customers to browse the menu, order and pay at a restaurant via the Deliveroo app, making it easier for customers to visit and eat in at restaurants while maintaining social distancing.
- Launched a new tipping service that allows customers to tip restaurants on the app when they place an order
- Launched a new campaign 'Love Your Local' to support local independent restaurant partners
- Introduced a new rapid payment service for restaurants which allows them to access money made from deliveries within a day
- Created online marketing tools for restaurants to notify customers that they are available for delivery services
- Developed a new 'contact-free delivery' feature in the app so that customers can be confident that deliveries from restaurants are conducted safely
- Established teams of people across the business to support restaurants who want to be able to deliver food
- Launched a micro-site for restaurant partners which provides information and links to help on how to operate during the COVID-19 crisis
- Published best practice guidelines for converting existing restaurants into delivery-only operations
- Shared expert advice and guidance on how to operate safely during the outbreak