Kate Nicholls has called on the government to extend the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast the UK Hospitality CEO said “boosting confidence and boosting footfall” were the most significant things the scheme had done, but also pointed to the number of “first time users” saying 70% had said it was the launch of the scheme which had tempted them back out.

“They needed it to boost their confidence and now they feel that they can return, not just to restaurants, pubs and bars, but also the high street,” she said. “And they’re more comfortable about returning to public transport, which is critical for getting the economy moving.”

She added that only a third of businesses opened in July, so the EOHO scheme had been very effective in “getting us from about half of our premises open to two thirds, but there is still that third, lots of them in city centres and town centres where the footfall is lower, that are still yet to open, and that means there’s still a million of our teams on furlough.”

Nicholls also repeated calls for a further raft of additional support for hospitality, saying “we need a package of measures. We’ve got the VAT cut from the chancellor, we’ve got furlough continuing until October, and it’s really critical given that we are the third largest employer that we have something that sustains the employment of people in the industry. Half of our teams are under 24 so for young people it is really critical.

“And then the final bit of the puzzle is rents and property costs. In city centre locations, if you don’t have the footfall coming through, if you don’t have money coming through the doors, you can’t afford to stay open because rents and business rates are such a significant cost. So going forward that’s the area we need the chancellor to look at.”