Sally Cullimore, HTA Policy Manager, comments:

"We have welcomed the introduction of the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme as a way to boost catering takings, although we are concerned that for many garden centres, particularly smaller ones, the discount adds another administrative burden at a time when many new systems have already been introduced, such as test and trace.

“We are also disappointed that VAT is to be paid on the gross bill, meaning that while consumers get a 50% discount, catering businesses can only claim back 47.5%. We are calling on the Government to reimburse the full 50% to all participating businesses.

“We are in conversation with officials from the Department for Business on a range of issues relating to catering. We have also produced a wide range of resources and materials to support the safe re-opening of catering in garden centres, and encourage everyone to continue to follow the HTA's catering re-opening checklist."

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