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Find festive opportunities this Christmas

Despite the current economic climate, people are seeing Christmas a time to treat themselves with 49% of people stating they intend to visit a pub, bar or restaurant this festive period and those intending to visit over the key festive dates has increased by 4-6% versus last year [1]. The opportunities for hospitality venues this year are massive but there are some key and easy wins to gain some Christmas cash in your tills.

1. Make Booking Easy

For those that are choosing to dine out this Christmas, value is still top of mind with 34% intending to spend less on eating out this festive period [2], therefore it’s no surprise that food and drink prices and the quality of the food are the main drivers when choosing a venue [3]. Make sure you are shouting about your Christmas offering early and consider what promotions will entice bookings. Offering early bird booking deals for example mean that consumers can get ready for the occasion and you can plan for the right level of customer demand. However don’t neglect the booking process, for such significant bookings, customers want contact so follow up enquiries promptly, and with 74% saying they are happy to pay a deposit [4], make sure you secure it.

2. Don't Forget about Big Bookings

However, Christmas isn’t just about those family occasions, it also means big bookings in the form of Christmas parties and festive get-togethers. Private areas and function rooms are big business this time of year with 24% of people saying they are likely to use a private space or room in a venue this Christmas [5]. Therefore if you have the space, make sure you are utilising it. Consider offering a set menu or package deal for these types of bookings with options to pre-order both food and drink to encourage trade up. 60% prefer to pre-order from a set menu as it is easier and less stressful [6], but it also makes this easier for you and helps to plan your resources. It can also be a good idea to offer canapes and arrival drinks for these occasions to drive revenue.

3. Give the gift of gifting

Another significant opportunity for hospitality venues at this time of year is gifting. 2-in-5 would buy a gift card for a particular restaurant or pub as a present [7] so consider putting together some gift packages such as ‘Dinner for 2’, a wine tasting experience or a cocktail making class as easy gifting opportunities for customers.


[1-7] KAM - nationally representative sample of 500UK adults -August 2023 vs 2022

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