The number of British people going to a restaurant or pub for their Christmas Day dinner is due to increase significantly this year, according to an AA survey.
According to the AA Populus poll of over 20,000 members, while only 3% usually eat in restaurants for their Christmas dinner, an additional 7% of Brits are planning on doing so this year. This move towards dining out on Christmas Day is particularly prevalent amongst older age groups, with 60% of festive restaurant goers being aged over 55.
The UK regions where dining out on Christmas Day is most popular are London and the south east, where 25% of those surveyed expected to eat their Christmas dinner at a restaurant, the Midlands with nearly 20%, and the south west with just under 15%.
As part of the survey, the AA also polled over 350 British restaurants about their expectations for the upcoming Christmas rush. From those surveyed, 70% of restaurants expected to be fully booked – an increase of nearly 10% on 2017. Meanwhile, only 3% of those surveyed foresee being half booked or quiet on the day itself, pointing to a very busy period for restaurants this Christmas.
Andrew Jenkins, general manager of The Moorland Garden Hotel, Yelverton said: “We have always been fully booked for lunch on Christmas Day, and this pattern will continue this year. We are constantly looking to provide the best for our diners over the busy Christmas period, and we hope to keep developing our festive offerings in future.”
Simon Numphud, managing director of AA Hotel & Hospitality Services added: “The trend towards dining out on Christmas Day shows no sign of slowing, and it’s wonderful to hear that our members are experiencing such a busy festive season. Customers looking for a quality dining experience on Christmas Day can check which awards they have won – such as our annual AA Hospitality Awards – and if they are accredited by an organisation such as the AA.”