The Government’s ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme officially went live this Monday. Early reports suggest that the scheme is popular, and no doubt will include some of our readers among its patrons. In subsiding the cost of a visit, the scheme hopes to bring extra footfall to our high streets and city centres. In doing so, it supports the retail and hospitality businesses in these places and the jobs that depend on them, as argued for in our Road to Recovery framework.
The scheme is also an acknowledgement and a reminder of the fact that cities and especially city centres are places of both work and play. Overall, 57.4 per cent of Britain’s food and drink establishments are located in cities. But the consumer experience varies across cities.
As first highlighted in our report ‘What’s in Store’, there is a relationship between city size and the range of cuisines in a city. Figure 2 below, charts the log of a city’s population against the number of distinctive cuisines available in each city. Those going out for food in London have the most to choose from, with 34 distinctive cuisines on offer. Other big cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol are also towards the top, all with 31 options. Those out in Burnley or Slough have the fewest options, able to pick from 13 types of restaurants.