Diners used the Eat Out To Help Out scheme 10,540,394 times during the government initiative's first week, according to the Treasury.

With 83,068 restaurants now having signed up to the scheme, the figures from the first week are very promising, both for the sector itself and for the huge number of people employed within it. 

Government figures have shown that 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April and that 1.4 million workers were furloughed - the highest proportions of any sector.

The scheme has also triggered an increase in the number of people visiting shopping centres and high streets across the country. Retail analysts Springboard reported that the number of people in retail destinations after 6pm last Monday (3 August) - the first day of the scheme - was 19% higher than the previous week.

The number of visitors during lunch hours between 12pm and 2pm also rose, by 9.6%. Over the last week as a whole, visitor numbers at high streets, malls and retail parks rose 3.8% from the week before. High streets saw the largest increase, with footfall up 4.5%.

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