THOUSANDS of diners in East Renfrewshire have backed the Eat Out to Help Out campaign designed to revive the country’s ailing restaurant trade.

The UK government brought in the discount scheme for the month of August to boost dining establishments hit by the four month lockdown.

Their figures show 50 restaurants in East Renfrewshire signed up for the scheme last month, with a whopping 45,000 meals being sold and £288,000 of discounts being claimed.

The average discount claimed per diner in East Renfrewshire including Barrhead was £6.45 - 35 pence above the Scottish average.

Diners in East Renfrewshire got a state-backed 50 per cent discount on meals and soft drinks up to £10 each on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August. A total of 6,333,000 meals had been claimed up to August 27 across Scotland under the scheme.

The amount of discount claimed by restaurants in Scotland in that period was £38,607,000. A total of 8,543 eateries in Scotland also have signed up to use the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Restaurants in East Renfrewshire have until September 30 to make a claim with the figures expected to rise significantly.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said: “The UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a roaring success, helping protect 1.8 million jobs in the hospitality sector.

“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.”

Restaurant bookings are said to have surged during the scheme, especially on the final day.

About 84,700 restaurants across the UK signed up for Eat Out to Help Out.

According to booking site OpenTable, restaurant reservations rose by 53 per cent compared with the Monday-to-Wednesday period in August 2019.

Over 100 million meals across Britain have been claimed and the government insist that the scheme’s popularity helped protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people in the hospitality sector.