Most businesses are too nervous to decide whether to have a Christmas party this year, with many leaving it until late November to book a venue.
Research conducted by Little Bay Restaurants of 250 businesses showed that over two-thirds of companies are yet to decide on whether to hold a Christmas party this year or not.
Peter Illic, owner of Little Bay who commissioned the study, said most businesses were too ‘nervous’ to commit to such a large expenditure.
“Traditionally, people begin to think about the office Christmas party in September and often book it around that time too,” he said. “Our research show that business owners are delaying a decision on their Christmas bash because they simply don't know whether to commit at this stage or not. But most say they will definitely be having one. Just making the decision nearer the date.”
Despite Little Bay’s research, industry experts are warning restaurants to market their Christmas offering as early as possible. Last month Guy Holmes of Captivate Restaurants told BigHospitality that restaurant owners would be giving themselves the best possible chance to secure Christmas booking if they start now.
“Normally it’s the larger restaurants that start marketing early to attract the big groups but the smart manager of any sized restaurant is starting to get their menus and promotional material designed,” he said. “Christmas is the most profitable time of the year for all hospitality businesses, but this year will be bleak for many unless they start marketing to their local businesses as soon as possible.”
See our Business Advice section for more suggestions on how to plan the perfect recessionary Christmas.