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Eat Out to Help Out: best restaurants in London and chains giving 50% discount into September

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The best restaurants and chains still giving a 50% discount off food and soft drinks in September. 

Eat Out to Help Out was the government initiative that initially raised a few eyebrows with its, erm, strange name and exclusion of cocktails from its 50% discount. But since its start at the beginning of August, customers have enjoyed half price food and soft drinks (up to £10 per person) at participating restaurants and it’s been an undeniable success.

From well-known chains to country pubs that would usually see a dwindling of customers in the first three days of the week, tables all around the country have been packed out Monday to Wednesday. Restaurants have been booked to the rafters, tummies have been full and the vibes have been good as UK diners have taken advantage of getting a tenner off their meals. 

For a short while, this became the new norm. In fact, we got so used to our Monday night dinner treat, which transformed the Sunday night slump giving us something to look forward to, that we assumed it would go on forever. Although this unfortunately isn’t the case, some restaurants have said that they will continue giving customers up to £10 off their meals throughout September anyway, hurrah!

This means savings for us and better business for them, so it looks like everyone’s a winner. If you’ve been keeping out of restaurants throughout August and away from the news, see our guide below for details of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and our favourite restaurants in London to visit. 

Best restaurants in London continuing Eat Out to Help Out in September 

  • TOZI restaurant and bar

    You’ll find TOZI in the bustling heart of one of London’s busiest areas, Victoria. But this restaurant and bar is a safe haven from the chaos outside, serving up authentic Italian dishes in a stylish setting.

    We like the sound of the maccheroni, rabbit and taggiasca olives ragout and the roasted cod with braised cannellini beans, and samphire.

    TOZI is closed on Mondays, so it’s offering up to £10 off the bill per person on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays instead. 

  • The Grill at The Dorchester

    Swanky hotel The Dorchester is not only home to some of the fanciest rooms in London but also The Grill, a vibrant restaurant lead by Tom Booton and his interpretation of a modern-day British grill.

    Signature dishes include homemade stout bread, prawn scotch egg and lobster thermidor tart, all served in a familiar, buzzy atmosphere. 

    The decor is elegant, contemporary and cosily lit, with red leather seats and plenty of corners to have a good gossip in.

  • The Wigmore

    The Wigmore, the stylish British tavern which sits within luxury hotel The Langham, is offering 50% off food and soft drinks on up to £10 per person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 30 September.

    The restaurant serves up a delicious menu overseen by Michel Roux Jr and executive chef Chris King with highlights such as a cheeseburger with grilled ox-tongue and crispy shallots, along side bitter chocolate mousse and espresso cream. 

  • OXO Tower Restaurant and Brasserie

    OXO Tower has earned its reputation in London as an iconic landmark along the South Bank, acting as a home to great food, amazing views and a rich mix of culture and arts displays over the years.

    You can get a piece of the action from Monday to Wednesday for £10 less than usual, with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which has been extended by the restaurant until the end of September.

    The only stipulations are that you must book through the website and select the offer in the booking process (available on two or more courses), and note that sides or the Summer Dining set menu are not included in the deal.

  • Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Café

    Once you’ve finished browsing the beautiful garments and accessories downstairs, head up to the Fifth Floor Café in Harvey Nichols for a lovely, lower priced lunch.

    Here, from Monday to Wednesday, you can enjoy up to £10 off your bill when you order two courses or more from the all day dining menu. But please remember, this restaurant asks that you book ahead and select the 50% off option when doing so, in order to get your discount. 

  • Sketch

    Pink-drenched bar and restaurant Sketch is known as one of London’s most iconic spots to eat and drink the night away. If you haven’t made a trip there yet, we’re sure you’ll have seen it on someone’s Instagram.

    The restaurant has announced that it is committed to extending the 50% discount on food and alcoholic drinks when ordered with a meal, up to a cap of £10 per person, making this one of the most generous Eat Out to Help Out interpretations we’ve seen. 

    The discount is also available in all of Sketch’s restaurants and on any type of meal, including afternoon tea. 

  • Riding House Cafe

    This relaxed cafe, restaurant and bar is a brilliant all-rounder, positioned in a handy spot just behind Oxford Circus. 

    The decor is an easy-on-the-eye mix of airy, industrial lighting and windows with rustic wooden tables and a string of deep blue bar stools, for a dash of sophistication. 

    Swing by for brunch and try out the assortment of egg-based dishes, smoothies and delicious coffee or book in for cocktails in the evening for a buzzy start to your night out. 

  • Polpo

    This award-winning string of Venetian restaurants have become the go-to place in London for unfussy, but mouth-wateringly delicious, Italian food. 

    The vibe is all about sharing plates and getting your fingers dirty as you indulge. We’d recommend tucking into some zucchini fries, lardo with candied walnuts, crab, fennel and chilli crostini and pumpkin with mustard cream. Yum.

    The atmosphere at every Polpo is spot-on. Think dimmed lights, cosy booths and lots of dark wood, for a vibe that would work equally well for a first date or a get together with friends. 

  • Franco Manca

    Franco Manca changed the pizza game when it re-opened in London in 2008, with two friends at the helm who took the old pizzaria off the hands of the original Franco who had had enough.

    Since then it’s grown into the delicious chain of restaurants we know today, specialising in slow-rising sourdough pizzas and fresh ingredients. 

    Franco Manca will be giving customers a 50% discount in September which means the brand’s already accessible pricing will be reduced even further, with their organic tomato, garlic, basil and oregano pizza coming in at only £2.60.

  • Dalloway Terrace

    There are so many reasons to be won over by Dalloway Terrace. Not only is the pastel floral backdrop the stuff of Instagram dreams but its position, tucked neatly off Bloomsbury square, is the old haunt of a feminist writer and literary favourite of ours, Virginia Woolf. What’s more, the terrace itself is named after her book, Mrs Dalloway, giving the venue a romantic, poetic feel from the moment you hear about it.

    And there’s no qualms of style over substance at this pretty-as-a-picture spot. The menu, cocktails and service are all something to write home about, too. With well done classics like fish and chips and fresh grilled salmon, plus lots of snack and sharing options, it’s a no-brainer. 

  • Norma

    Drenched in rose gold, with train carriage-style seats and on-trend tiles; Norma is an utterly beautiful place to enjoy dinner, especially when they have brilliant deals on like September’s £10 pasta special. 

    Norma was named one of our favourite restaurants doing Eat Out to Help Out in August, and although the restaurant isn’t extending into September, they are nodding to the scheme with a discounted menu.

    Norma will be whipping up a selection of new seasonal pasta dishes this month and instead of paying the usual £18 to £24, they’ll be giving them to you for just £10 from Monday to Thursday for lunch and dinner.  

    With a menu inspired by Sicily and packed with delicious flavours, we can promise once you pay Norma a visit, you’ll soon be going back for more. 

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Which chain restaurants are doing Eat Out to Help Out in September?

Many popular chain restaurants have announced they will be continuing the scheme. Here’s a list below:

  • Bill’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Prezzo
  • Deliveroo
  • Toby Carvery 
  • Harvester 
  • Tesco Café

What is Eat Out to Help Out?

Restaurants that registered with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August gave customers 50% off their food and non-alcoholic drinks bill. It only applied on dine-in menus, but could be used as many times as you like. There’s been no need to sign up to anything to access the scheme, it’s automatically deducted by the restaurant. You can also use other offers in conjunction with Eat Out to Help Out.

How long is Eat Out to Help Out running for and will it continue into September?

The scheme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July and was set to run from 3 to 30 August 2020, from Monday to Wednesday each week at any time of the day. As the scheme has been so popular there have been calls for the government to extend their support of the hospitality sector and keep it going throughout September. However, lots of restaurants are taking it upon themselves to continue giving diners 50% off, Monday to Wednesday, on food or soft drinks.

Does Eat Out to Help Out work on takeaways?

Unfortunately not, but Deliveroo is doing its own version which offers £5 off when you order £20 or more worth of food from restaurants that have opted in to the deal. To access the discount you’ll need a code which you can find on the brand’s Instagram.

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Images: TOZI / courtesy of brands 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.