UK covered 50% of restaurant tab - would similar program here make you eat out more?

RESTAURANT

The UK has wrapped up what it's calling a successful program paying for half of the bill of people going out to restaurants to eat. That has some in the industry wondering if Canada should do the same.

The Eat Out to Help Out campaign in the UK last month helped some restaurants earn 70 to 90% more than last year at this time. 

How it worked: Restaurants took off 50% from the bill, up to $17 Canadian, and then claimed the money back from the government.

"It's something that's interesting," said Restaurants Canada spokesman for Quebec David Lefebvre.

"That's what operators in the UK tell us - that it's made a difference especially on the business side and people having some meetings and those kinds of things. It helps if you can have some kind of a tax break or a voucher or something like that. It's also a measure that enhances a lot the local tourism. People going out a few miles away and trying a new restaurant."

Lefebvre said it would help supplement measures such as the federal rent subsidy program that expired on Monday and that they'd like to see extended.

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