Diners spent 34.2% more at restaurants and fast food outlets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August than they did in July, according to data from Barclaycard Payments.

The number of transactions grew by 33.7%, though the average transaction value on Mondays to Wednesdays remained stable, rising from £11.85 in July to £11.91 in August, suggesting the discount encouraged diners to order more food and non-alcoholic drinks, in order to spend roughly the same amount.

Outside Eat Out to Help Out, Thursdays to Sundays in August also saw strong growth compared to July, with total spending in restaurants and fast food outlets up 33%.

Sunday remained the most popular day to go out for food in August, but Wednesdays saw the biggest uplift, with spend growing by 39.7% month-on-month.

The Barclaycard research found 38% of British consumers made use of the scheme, with 52% of these diners choosing to eat out on Mondays to Wednesdays specifically because of the discount.

Some 19% of consumers plan to continue eating out more often to support the industry, and 18% will return to restaurants they would not have otherwise visited without this incentive.

Despite the uplifts, social distancing and consumer cautiousness are still having an impact, with the total value of transactions across restaurants and fast food in August down 7% year on year, and the total number of transactions down 11.6%.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s clear that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ had a positive impact on restaurant and fast food spend in August resulting in many businesses choosing to extend the discounts into September, even without the government incentive.

“Consumer feedback has also been very encouraging, with almost one in five planning to continue dining out more often to support the industry, and a similar number saying that they will return to restaurants that they would not have visited otherwise. Restaurants across the UK will be looking to maintain this boost in trade, especially with the Christmas period now in sight.”

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