61% of Brits to dine out on Christmas Day

By Liam Garrahan contact

- Last updated on GMT

61% of Brits to dine out on Christmas Day
Almost two-thirds of the British public have opted to eat out on Christmas day to alleviate the stress of cooking on themselves and their families, according to a report by Bookatable, while the website has seen a 251 per cent increase in Christmas bookings since 2011.

The online restaurant booking platform found that stress-contributors such as cooking Christmas dinner and cleaning have increased restaurant bookings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which have both seen year-on-year increases in bookings of 42 per cent and 20 per cent.

The website’s research notes that 70 per cent of Brits spend between three and five hours in the kitchen on Christmas day, away from friends and family, and 78 per cent spend up to three hours tidying up.

Eating out could also prove to be a cheaper alternative for diners, with the report finding that eight per cent of the British public spend upwards of £500 on Christmas dinner, while 87 per cent say that they buy too much food and it goes to waste.

Christmas magic

Robert Prendergast, head chef at The Waldorf Hilton restaurant, said that having the restaurant open on Christmas Day creates a ‘magical’ experience for staff.

“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,” he said.

“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 more rewarding.”

Psychologist Corinne Sweet said: “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. 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.”

The research is published as a number of restaurants, pubs and hotels are preparing for a bumper Christmas with Mitchells and Butlers reporting a 200 per cent increase in Christmas bookings​ across its business, and with news that the British public could spend an extra 27 per cent this year​, businesses will be looking to make sure that their properties are dressed correctly for the festive season​.

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