More than 72,000 businesses have signed up to the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which launches today.

The chancellor’s scheme is designed to encourage consumers back into pubs, cafes and restaurants, offering a 50% discount on food and soft drinks up to a cap of £10 per person.

Throughout August, anyone eating-in at a participating site Monday to Wednesday will be automatically granted the discount, which businesses will be able to claim back from the Government on a weekly basis.

Major restaurant chains including Pizza Express, McDonald’s and Nando’s are among those to have signed up to the scheme, whilst the likes of Whitbread, Dishoom and Boparan Restaurant Group have gone even further, scrapping the £10 discount cap.

“Our ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door,” said chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favourite places your support, we’ll pay half.”