Deliveroo has urged Government to consider reintroducing the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and recruitment incentives to support restaurants to bounce-back after lockdown.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the delivery company and 330 of its restaurant partners said a return of the scheme alongside incentives like the removal of National Insurance contributions and targeted relief to encourage staff recruitment and retention, as well as investment and innovation, would help the sector rebuild post-pandemic.

In the more immediate term, Deliveroo proposed a five-step support plan for business survival, which includes an extension of the VAT cut and business rates relief for another year, a continuation of the furlough scheme, and the inclusion of food sector workers in the second phase of the vaccine rollout.

It also said businesses must be supported on rent, arguing that when the moratorium ends Government should work to ensure landlords are prevented from evicting tenants based on rent arrears, provided tenant businesses pay current rent obligations and agree to a payment plan to repay past liabilities.

“Restaurants are at the heart of our high streets and local communities and we want to play our part to help them reopen their doors when the economy opens up again,” said CEO Will Shu. “That is why we are calling on the Government to implement this package of measures, which will be an important lifeline for small independents and high street family favourites.”

The signatories, which include the CEOs of Itsu, Pizza Hut UK and Rosa’s Thai Cafe, collectively represent more than 1,400 restaurants across the UK.

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