Christmas bookings soaring

More consumers than ever will eat out on Christmas Day this year, and interest in festive meals is being spread wider through December, according to two new sets of stats.

Research by Bookatable claims that bookings for meals on Christmas Day have risen by 241% since 2011, and by 63% on last year. Interest in Christmas Eve and Boxing Day meals out has also leapt, by 42% and 20% respectively. 

Bookatable’s research uncovered various reasons for the trend, including that 70% of people spend three to five hours in the kitchen preparing a Christmas meal, and 87% feel they buy too much food that goes to waste. 

Bookatable chief executive Joe Steele said: “We have seen a significant increase in diners booking Christmas dinner in restaurants this year and there is no wonder given our research has shown many people feel they are not able to spend time with their family due to the pressures of catering on Christmas Day.”

Stats from Mitchells & Butlers meanwhile show that bookings for Christmas meals are spreading throughout December. It said the number of meals its pubs had sold in the first two weeks of December had tripled in just three years, from 90,000 in 2012 to 272,000 in 2014. Around two thirds of people have more than one Christmas dinner in December. 

M&B marketing director Catriona Kempston said: “Our survey shows that more of us are having more than one Christmas dinner as a result of catching up with friends and relatives at their local Harvester or Ember Inns, festive parties at All Bar One and even as part of a Christmas shopping trip when taking a break at Browns.”

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