More than six million meals have been eaten in Scotland under the Eat Out to Help Out restaurant scheme.
Restaurants claimed more than £38.6m, as the initiative saw the UK Government foot up to 50% of diners’ bills.
The scheme was in place Monday to Wednesday throughout the month of August as part of efforts to save the hospitality industry, which has been severely impacted by the Covid lockdown.
A total of 8543 food spots across the country signed up, however this figure only related to businesses with fewer than 26 outlets. The actual figure including larger restaurant chains will be higher.
Some eateries have committed to continuing the policy off their own backs into September.
Scottish secretary Alister Jack said the scheme had been a “roaring success”.
He said: “More than 6.3 million meals were enjoyed in Scotland with the UK Government paying up to £10 towards each. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the scheme – as well as the staff who made it possible.
“This initiative is just one part of an extensive package of UK Government support for Scotland’s economy and jobs.
“That includes supporting more than 930,000 jobs, providing business loans, helping to get young people into jobs, and a VAT cut for tourism and hospitality businesses.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.
“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.”