Christmas Day bookings on the increase

Christmas dinner bookings on Bookatable have increased 63% year-on-year
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A record number of Brits are choosing to dine out this Christmas, according to Bookatable. The restaurant booking site reported a 63% year-on-year spike for Christmas Day bookings. 

From 2011 to 2015, Bookatable has noticed a 251% in reservations for Christmas Day. Currently, 70% of the British public who cook Christmas dinner spend three to five hours in the kitchen, while 78% spend up to three hours cleaning up.

“Ideally, Christmas should be all about spending quality time together as a family or with friends, but sometimes the hype, rush and stress of it all gets in the way,” said psychologist Corinne Sweet.

Bookatable commissioned a study to research the shift towards eating out on Christmas. Findings showed that almost a quarter, (23%) have eaten out on Christmas Day and a further 35% would consider it in the future.

“It’s no wonder so many of us are turning to alternatives, such as restaurants. It’s important to remember what the festive season is all about: connecting and celebrating. Don’t try to be perfect. If you want to create restaurant-standard food, just eat out! Trying to make Christmas perfect simply puts too much pressure on, financially, socially and emotionally.”

Other than spending more time with loved ones, saving money is considered to be a factor in driving people out on Christmas Day. Bookatable claim that 21% of people in Britain host Christmas, and as a result, feel out of pocket. Furthermore, 87% feel that they buy too much food that goes to waste, as well as ingredients that are not used at any other time of the year.

In addition, it is believed that 13% of Brits, which equated to over eight million, spend more than £500 on food for Christmas dinner, while one in four cater to special dietary requirements.

“Opening the restaurant on Christmas Day is a bit magical for us here at the Waldorf Hilton,” said Robert Prendergast, head chef of The Waldorf Hilton restaurant.

“There is always a sense of family resonating around the hotel amongst the team on Christmas morning, with the excitement that we are going to be looking after someone else’s family, filling their day with warmth, service, good food and creating memories. The truth of it really is that it’s what we enjoy doing, making someone’s day special. It’s the service industry, which we love, and sharing someone’s Christmas Day makes it that extra bit rewarding.”

Bookatable reported that 34% of British families felt that Christmas was the only time of the year where they can all sit and spend some quality time together. When questioned about how often they dined together in the course of a normal year, just under half, (49%), said that they rarely or never sit down together.

As an outcome of this research, the restaurant booking platform has been motivated to launch a campaign with the aim of helping families find time to enjoy good food and spend time together over the festive season. By working with some of its top chefs, Bookatable has produced a ‘Chef’s Secrets’ guide to help take the stress out of preparing for the Christmas period.

Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable, said: “To help spread some Christmas cheer, we have collected some of the best festive menus from across the country on our website, along with a free downloadable guide created in collaboration with our top chefs who have shared their expertise and insight to help everyone have a smooth and enjoyable Christmas.”

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