To encourage Melburnians to get back into the city – and, importantly, its restaurants, cafes and bars – the City of Melbourne has launched a $8.4 million new initiative called Melbourne Money. Here’s everything you need to know.

How does it work?
Go out for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks (food must be purchased to be eligible) within the 14 suburbs in the City of Melbourne. Spend between $50 and $500 in one sitting. Ask for an itemised receipt, take a photo or ask for an electronic version. Head to Melbourne Money and submit your claim. A rebate of 20 per cent off the total food and drink bill will be reimbursed into your nominated Australian bank account within five business days.

What’s the catch?
There isn’t a catch, but there are rules. You must make your food and drink purchase in-store or at the venue. The offer runs until 11.59pm Tuesday July 13 – so once you’ve dined, make your claim by Friday July 16.

Can it be used at the theatre cafe or sports bar?
Yes it can. Diners (remember, you must order food as part of the offer) can upload receipts from across the entire City of Melbourne municipality, including Southbank, Chinatown, Lygon Street, Docklands, North Melbourne and Kensington, and receipts can be from hospitality venues within sporting, arts and theatre precincts. That includes hotel bars and cinema kiosks.

What about breweries and distilleries?
Yep, those are eligible hospitality businesses too – as long as they’re within the City of Melbourne and you also buy food.

Can it be a handwritten receipt?
No, it cannot. Ask the venue for a printed tax receipt, including the business name, ABN, receipt number, receipt total value (inc GST), purchase date and time.

Can I simply upload an old receipt? Or do I have to go out into the world again?
Receipts must be dated from 12.01am Friday June 11 until 11.59pm Tuesday July 13, and food must be fully paid for (rather than a deposit for a restaurant booking). As above, the receipt must also include a business name and ABN, receipt number, total value (including GST), purchase date and time.

Can I order takeout?
Yes, but only if its collected in-venue and ordered either in person, online or by phone. You can use your receipts from fast food venues, kiosks, cafes and food courts, but certain venues are ineligible – including food trucks and grocery stores. Deliveroo and Uber Eats, or other home delivery services, are not eligible.

When does it start?
It’s open now. The offer launched over the long weekend, on Friday June 11 and closes Tuesday July 13 at 11.59pm.

When does it end?
The $8.4 million program closes Tuesday July 13 at 11.59pm but you can claim outstanding receipts until Friday July 16.

Who’s to thank?
Lord Mayor Sally Capp has been instrumental in setting up the Melbourne Money initiative. It’s a product of the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government as part of a $107.4 million contribution to bolster businesses and bring visitors back to the city.

I own a business, what do I need to do to take part?
From laneway bars to Chinatown eateries, Melbourne Money applies equally to all hospitality businesses within the City of Melbourne. Businesses will be automatically eligible and the City of Melbourne will take care of administration.

Find out more about Melbourne Money.