The Impact of Lockdown Easing and ``Eat Out to Help Out” on Company Registrations

The UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” policy subsidized restaurant visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It led to an increase in firm creation in areas with participating restaurants across all sectors.
Eat Out to Help Out
Business Creation
Policy Analysis

Galanakis, Y., Hobbs, J. and Savagar, A., (2023), “The Impact of Lockdown Easing and ``Eat Out to Help Out” on Company Registrations”, Revise & Resubmit at Small Business Economics


King’s College London

Jonathan Hobbs

University of Kent

University of Kent


January 2024


We investigate the effect of the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” policy on firm creation. The policy subsidised people to eat-out at participating restaurants for a period over the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the policy caused a 5.6% increase in business registrations in areas with participating restaurants. The increase is largest in high-street service activities such as ‘hairdressing and other beauty treatment’. We interpret this as evidence of a demand stimulus in one sector, leading to anticipated demand increases in geographically-close sectors, and consequently a supply increase as measured by firm creation.

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