UK restaurant visits fall after government subsidy ends

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past people who are eating inside private dining pods at a restaurant, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of British people visiting restaurants, cafes and pubs fell for the first time since early July over the past couple of weeks, following the end of a government subsidy for half-price restaurant meals, official figures showed on Friday.

The Office for National Statistics said 30% of British adults had been out to eat or drink between Sept. 9 and Sept. 13, down from 38% two weeks earlier, when the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ programme was still running.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce