Christmas Dinner isn't just for Christmas Day
Pubs and restaurants including Toby Carvery, Harvester restaurants and Sizzling Pubs have revealed that it isn't just the 25th of December when Brits are tucking into their Christmas dinner, as company figures shows the number of bookings made throughout December to have tripled in recent years.
Statistics from Mitchells & Butlers, the company behind these brands and others such as such as Browns, Miller & Carter, All Bar One, Ember Inns, O'Neill's and Vintage Inns revealed the number of festive meals sold in the first two weeks of December has nearly tripled from around 90,000 back in 2011 to a turkey-gobbling 260,000 plus last year.
This should come as no surprise however as, in a recent consumer survey, 65% of consumers said that they would be having more than two Christmas dinners throughout December - with 7% revealing they'd be enjoying five or more.
Juggling work-dos, nights out and family time, it's easy to see how we are dining out more and more in the run up to Christmas. For instance, 82% of people are expecting to celebrate with family and 64% of us look forward to this the most. Celebrating with friends (30%) along with the office party (20%) were also high on the list and interestingly, just over 10% of us actually look forward to work parties the least.
Travel is another reason people are choosing to eat out. On a whole, 75% of us will travel less than five miles as we look to celebrate close to home. People living in the East Midlands travel the furthest for their Christmas dinner with nearly 20% of people travelling more than 21 miles. Incredibly, over 10% of people living in Wales & the South West will travel more than 50 miles.
Catriona Kempston, Marketing Director at Mitchells & Butlers, the company behind these statistics, comments;
Whether you're entertaining friends and relatives, travelling to see family, or even having to work over the festive period, Christmas is rarely stress free. Whilst carving the turkey on the 25th is seen as tradition, our survey shows that in actual fact, 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.
"One of the reasons for this is the simple convenience of eating out. Not having to worry about cooking means that people have one less thing to think about - making the prospect of having Christmas dinner out much more appealing."
Other stats revealed that Scottish families will be entertaining the most guests on Christmas Day, with 14% of those asked accommodating for 15 guests or more. And if you're not tucking in to turkey, 37% of us would choose steak as an alternative.
Check out some further statistics published from us in our survey research and infographic below. With 1,700 pubs and restaurants around the UK, a local is never too far so don't forget to drop by your nearest Mitchells & Butlers pub or restaurant here.