The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was used more than 35 million times in its first two weeks, the latest Treasury figures show.

More than 85,000 restaurants have now registered for the scheme – which offers diners 50% off up to a maximum of £10 Monday – Wednesday – and chancellor Rishi Sunak has said the usage figures are “equivalent to over half of the UK taking part.”

“With at least 35 million meals served up in the first two weeks alone, that is equivalent to over half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector,” he said.

“To build back better we must protect as many jobs as possible, that is why I am urging all registered businesses to make the most of this by claiming back today - it’s free, simple and pays out within five working days.”

Due to come to an end next Wednesday (26 August), the Government has set aside £500 million to fund the month-long initiative.

According to data from booking site Open Table, it has significantly increased the number of people eating out Monday to Wednesday, with visits currently 26.9% higher than on the same days last year.