Popular Edinburgh steak restaurant reveals reasons why they won't be continuing Eat Out to Help Out scheme

This Edinburgh steak restaurant won't be extending the popular Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.

Published 1st Sep 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

As the government Eat Out to Help Out scheme has come to an end, many businesses have chosen to extend it into September - but one Edinburgh steak restaurant has spoken out about why they're not.

The scheme was used more than 35 million times in its first two weeks, according to the latest Treasury results, and its popularity led to businesses and chains extending the deal into September.

Hawksmoor, which opened in the Edinburgh Grand hotel in 2018, has taken to social media to explain why they won't be offering the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which ran for the month of August and offered diners 50 per cent off food and soft drinks, up to £10 per person.

Posting a thread on their Twitter, the steak restaurant which also has outlets in London and Manchester, as well as Edinburgh, wrote: "We won’t be extending the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

"A time is coming soon when restaurants have to stand on their own two feet with the conviction that their normal prices are the right ones. For Hawksmoor we want that time to be now ..."

There are ways to eat more cheaply

They continued: "There are ways to eat more cheaply at Hawksmoor, there always have been, and you can read about some of them above, but we need to see start to learn where we really are without going down the addictive route of discounting."

The thread went on to say that the team knows what makes Hawksmoor work, saying: "for us and for the wonderful people who work here - it’s the food, drink, service, atmosphere and beautiful restaurants. That’s what we’re going to be working hard at in September and onwards."

It also mentioned that financial crash of 2008 and the plans to open another two London restaurants: "We’ve still got two more restaurants to open in London (Knightsbridge is next Thu, thanks for asking), then we need to work out if city centres, especially London, can sustain a midweek lunch business. Then the long slog to finally opening @HawksmoorNYC next year.

"We’re old enough to remember the 2008 financial crisis. TL;DR version ... discounting turned out to be a nightmare, doubling down on trying to be a great restaurant worked for us, although we only had 1 then. We’re hoping it will again. Thanks for all your support."

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The tweets received supports from followers, with one replying: "this is the right move. If you have to slash prices to fill a reduced number of seats, the food isn't working."

Another added: "Agreed and you've earned it, we left our discount with your hardworking team. Thanks for another great dinner."


Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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