THOUSANDS of diners in Renfrewshire have backed the Eat Out to Help Out campaign designed to revive the country’s ailing restaurant trade.

The UK government brought in the discount scheme for the month of August to boost dining establishments hit by the four month coronavirus lockdown.

Figures for Renfrewshire show that 183 restaurants signed up for the scheme claiming for 156,000 meals, and £953,000 in discounts.

The average discount claimed per meal in Renfrewshire was £6.19 - four pence above the Scottish average.

Diners got a state-backed 50 per cent discount on meals and soft drinks up to £10 each on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August.

Restaurants in Renfrewshire have until September 30 to make a claim with the figures expected to rise significantly.

Figures broken down by parliamentary constituency show that in Paisley and Renfrewshire North - which includes Renfrew and Linwood - 85 eateries signed up, with 95,000 meals and £566,000 of discounts claimed.

While for Paisley and Renfrewshire South - which includes Johnstone - 98 restaurants claimed for 61,000 meals and discounts of £387,000.

The average discount was £5.98 in the Renfrewshire North and £6.37 in the South.

Restaurant bookings are said to have surged across Renfrewshire during the scheme, especially on the final day.

A total of 8,543 of diners and eateries in Scotland joined the Eat Out to Help Out scheme claiming £38,607,000 in discounts.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a roaring success, helping protect 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector. 

“More than 6.3 million meals were enjoyed in Scotland with the UK Government paying up to £10 towards each. 

“I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the scheme - as well as the staff who made it possible.”

About 84,700 restaurants across the UK signed up for Eat Out to Help 

According to booking site OpenTable, restaurant reservations rose by 53 per cent compared with the Monday-to-Wednesday period in August 2019.

More than 100 million meals across Britain have been claimed for under the government’s Eat Out scheme.

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