BOLTON’S restaurateurs have given a cautions welcome to the Government’s plans to help slash restaurants and pub bills by half in a bid to get customers spending again.

Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new measures to come on top of the furlough scheme which has protected nine million jobs throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The incentive, throughout August, is part of a mini-Budget package to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Sunak told the Commons: “I can announce today that, for the month of August, we will give everyone in the country an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount.

“Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday, will be 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children. Businesses will need to register, and can do so through a simple website, open next Monday.

“Each week in August, businesses can then claim the money back, with the funds in their bank account within five working days.”

Businesses will need to register with the scheme on before being able to offer the discount. Details on how you can do this are yet to be released.

Earthlings vegetarian and vegan cafe in Bromley Cross has been offering an organic takeaway menu on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout lockdown.

The cafe’s owner, Hilary Martin, said she welcomed the plans.

She said: “We are keen to hear more of the detail of how it will work in practice, but yes, we are very interested in any initiatives introduced by the government to help the severely hit hospitality industry during these difficult times.”

Nikki Gillon at Greek-influenced restaurant The Kitchen in Market Street, Westhoughton, was also enthusiastic.

She said: “I’d say bring it on. We are opening mid August due to being a bit smaller than the usual restaurant so this will come as a much needed push for us.”

The Hawthorns in Blackrod was forced to close due to lockdown soon after it underwent an extensive refurbishment, adding to owner Mike Hales’ frustration.

“It all depends on how fast we can claim the money back,” he said. “If we can’t get it back for four to six weeks it won’t be much good so we are waiting for the finer details to come out.

“I bought the restaurant just before lockdown so it was a bit of a nightmare with the timing. Luckily I am quite positive but it’s tough and now it is just a case of boosting customer confidence and hopefully this will help.”