How to encourage guests to come to a restaurant

The UK Government has created a new initiative aimed to protect jobs in the hospitality industry by encouraging people to safely return to dining out.
The initiative called Eat Out to Help Out offers a discount to diners of restaurants, bars and cafes, and other activities that serve food with a 50% reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person throughout August.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme can be used all day, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020.

Businesses can reclaim the discounted money back from the government through an online service, supported by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Claims can be made on a weekly basis and will be paid into bank accounts within five working days.

There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme, the discount will just be removed from their bill. Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

You can register if your establishment sells food for immediate consumption on the premises, provides its own dining area, or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals and was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July.

You cannot register if you are an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink, catering services for private functions if you are a hotel that provides room service only, dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises), mobile food vans or trailers.

To register, you must have the Government Gateway ID and password for your business (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register), the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25, the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted) and the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)
Registration will close on 31 August.

You may also need your VAT registration number (if applicable), the employer PAYE scheme reference number (if applicable), and the Corporation Tax or Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference.

If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each but if they are part of the same business, you do not have to provide details for each one.
You should provide a link to a website that contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address.
Once you have registered your business it may be possible to add new establishments, but you will have to contact HMRC again and this may delay the establishment being included in the scheme.
You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.

Once you are registered you will receive a registration reference number that you’ll need when you claim the reimbursement.

You can download promotional materials to help you promote the scheme and let your customers know that you’re taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

After your registration, you’ll be added to a list of registered establishments that will be available to the public.
If you want to be removed from the list of registered establishments, you should contact HMRC.
You should wait until you’re registered before you offer discounts to your customers.

You cannot offer discounts before 3 August.

For each day you’re using the scheme, you must keep records of:

  • the total number of people who have used the scheme in your establishment
  • the total value of transactions under the scheme
  • the total amount of discounts you’ve given

You’ll still need to pay VAT based on the full amount of your customers’ bills and any money you receive through the scheme will be treated as taxable income.

Read more about the UK Government guidelines.

You may also be interested in the following booknbook features:

Restaurant Booking System

Food Ordering (Delivery & Takeaway)

QR Code Digital Menu

Visit Safe: Guests Track and Trace System

How to keep track of restaurant guests data digitally

Life has started again in the UK and it’s time for people to play an active role in the fight against Coronavirus.

Due to COVID-19, the Uk is facing a challenging public health emergency and during these times the containment of the virus is crucial to saving lives.
Minimising the transmission is the number one priority to keep the situation under control and to do so is important to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

There is a high risk of transmitting COVID-19 in situations where people from different households spend a lot of time together in one place.

Pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafés are some of the places where people will gather the most but also hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos, and theme parks can become quite busy.

Activities like hairdressers, barbershops, and tailors but also town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries, children’s centers have become places at risk.

To contain the virus and prevent future lockdowns it has been asked to organisations and business activities to support the NHS Test and Trace by keeping a temporary record of their customers and visitors for 21 days.

At the entrance of each activity will be asked people to fill a form with their personal details.

The collected personal data information will be managed in accordance with the GDPR regulations to protect the privacy of the customers, visitors, and staff. The NHS will ask the organisations to share the collected data only if necessary.

This regulation only applies to activities that provide an on-site service. It does not include takeaways services.

The collected data will be as follows:


  • the names of staff
  • a contact phone number
  • the dates and times that staff are at work

Customers and Visitors:

  • the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, you can record the name of the group leader and the total number of people
    a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or of the group leader
  • date of visit, arrival and departure time
  • if a customer interacts with only one member of staff both names should be recorder

Many commercial activities are planning different ways to collect those data in a fast and easy way and that’s why booknbook created Visit Safe a solution to store all the data digitally adaptable to every business.

Three easy steps to collect the required information with booknbook Visit Safe

Step1: Scan the QR Code
No need to download any app, just take a picture to the QR and allow your clients to visualize it from their phone

Step 2: Fill the form
Fill out the online form with the required data

Step 3: Send it
Submit your data

The collected data can be downloaded in PDF and CSV in just one click.

Read more about the UK Government guidelines

The fight against coronavirus is not over and it’s now time for people to take actions. Discover Visit Safe.

You may also be interested in the following booknbook features:

Restaurant Booking System

QR Code Digital Menu

Food Ordering (Delivery & Takeaway)

Food safety guidelines for delivering food

Due to the current situation, unfortunately, as you might know, many Restaurants had to close for an unknown period of time, and other restaurants have decided to remain open offering a Food Order service.

What is your current situation? Are you planning to open your Restaurant to offer a Food Ordering service? If the answer is YES you must keep reading!

Either it will be a Delivery or Takeaway both services must have and keep high food hygiene standards. These standards must always be respected by Restaurants but during this hard and unwanted moment, we need to ensure customers that you are taking action in implementing an excellent food hygiene service!

Besides the high food hygiene standards, there is another important element to consider when a Restaurant is delivering food which is to provide clear information regarding the allergens contained in a certain meal!
The restaurant’s online menu needs to provide a description of the item, the price, and most important all relevant allergen information. Either if it is an allergens form or a statement on the website, it is fundamental to advise customers where they can obtain allergen information before they place their order. Staff should be aware of how to take orders with specific allergy requirements and also they should have clear written allergen information to refer to in order to respond to allergy requests accurately when taking orders!

The Hygiene guidance that you will need for food delivery service
There are four main things (4Cs) that Restaurants need to implement for good hygiene:

1. Cleaning

  • Clean and disinfect food areas and equipment, especially after handling raw food
  • Cleaning utensils before each usage
  • Use cleaning and disinfection products that should meet the BS EN standards

2. Cooking

  • Most types of meat should be cooked as there could be harmful bacteria
  • Respect Cooking Temperatures
  • Keep the Food hot
  • If you reheat food it has to be done properly to kill harmful bacteria that may have grown since the food was cooked

3. Chilling

  • Store food in sealed containers and at the correct temperature it will protect it from harmful bacteria
  • Chilling food properly helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing
  • When serving or displaying cold foods, it can be kept outside the fridge for up to 4 hours
  • In the UK a legal requirement imposing that cold food must be kept at 8˚C or below

4. Avoid Cross-Contamination:
Remember Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning!

There are different actions to prevent cross-contamination:

  • If you use the same board and knife to chop raw food you must wash and disinfect them thoroughly or better to use different equipment
  • Wash your hands regularly but especially after touching raw food, otherwise, you can spread bacteria to the other things and keep raw food separate
  • Keep ingredients that contain allergens separate from other ingredients
  • Always clean and disinfect work surfaces

Restaurants need to review and update their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedure before starting to deliver food to customers. This is a practical guide that indicates how to manage hygiene and allergens in the kitchen.

Allergen guidance for your Food Delivery
It is crucial for Restaurants to tell customers if the food they provide contains any of the specified allergens as an ingredient. There are 14 main allergens that are the most used and the most dangerous. Other customers may be allergic or intolerant to other ingredients, but legally you are required to provide information just for these 14 allergens.

The 14 allergens are:

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten – including barley, oats, wheat, and rye
  • Crustaceans – prawns, crabs, and lobsters
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Molluscs –  mussels and oysters
  • Lupin
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and macadamia nuts

It is very important, especially If food is sold online or by phone, to provide allergen information at two different stages in the order process. Restaurants must provide allergen information:

1. Before the purchase of the food is finalized – this can be indicated in writing on the website, or on the menu) or orally by the phone
2. When the food is delivered – this can be indicated in writing through allergen stickers on food or an enclosed copy of a menu

Delivering food in a safe way

Especially during this period, all the meals must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that it does not become unsafe or unfit to eat! Restaurants must keep and act with different actions:

  •  Food that needs refrigeration must be kept cool while being transported.
    This may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag.
  •  Restaurants should identify and remove possible cross-contamination risks in the delivery process. The packaging meals need to be securely and it is important to keep allergen-free meals separately in transit to avoid contamination through any spills.
  • If an allergen-free meal has been requested for the order, it should be clear when delivered which container it is in. Restaurants can use stickers or a note on the container to label each meal.

Food Ordering White-Label Platform for Restaurants
Now if you are planning to implement a Delivery & Takeaway service, we have the perfect solution for you!

With booknbook, you will have your own Food Ordering Platform directly on your website and we will offer additional services that will help to grow your online traffic!
Also, our platform will provide you with a valid customer’s database that will allow you to create a tailored marketing strategy. Latest but not last booknbook will increase your customer loyalty and your turnover will be higher since you will be collecting money directly to your account!

With booknbook there will be NO MORE Third-Parties and most important LESS commission!