Over 1 in 6 people in the UK plan on dining out on Christmas Day  

With Christmas around the corner, you’ll likely already be in full swing hosting work parties. Now, new research* from music licensing company PPL PRS reveals that over 1 in 6 of the UK households (16%) surveyed plan on tucking into their turkey and trimmings in a restaurant or pub on Christmas Day. The top 5 reasons are: 

  1. To try something new (24%) 
  2. Because they don’t want to cook (23%)
  3. They would rather not host in their homes (15%) 
  4. There’s no space to host at home (10%) 
  5. To save energy (8%) 

The festive season is always an expensive time for consumers, but they’re feeling the pinch this year especially. The prospect of cooking a turkey for hours, bulk buying ingredients and providing electricity and heating are causing them to re-consider their Christmas traditions.  A Nisbets.co.uk** survey revealed that two million people in the UK plan to eat out on Christmas day to cut costs on a big family dinner. Nisbets also calculated the cost difference between cooking for a family of four versus eating out, finding a difference of only £5.80 per person in favour of cooking at home. However, dining out offers the benefit of choice for all members of a dining party. 

Although customers will be coming for the food, creating a lively, charming Christmas atmosphere may be key to giving patrons a day they’ll never forget and securing their loyalty.  

So, keep the music flowing like drinks! PPL PRS found that 9 in 10 (93%) people in the UK traditionally play Christmas music in their homes on the day. From that total, almost two-thirds (60%) wish to hear Christmas music playing in a restaurant or bar when they go out for their special meal.  

The top eras for Christmas music, according to the public, are:  

  1. 1980s (e.g. Last Christmas by WHAM! And Do They Know It’s Christmas? By Band Aid) – 75%   
  2. 1990s (e.g. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and Everybody Knows The Claus by Hanson) – 65%
  3. Mid-20th century classics (e.g. White Christmas by Bing Crosby) – 55%

While carols ranked lowest, a third (33%) of people favour them, proving the timeless popularity of Christmas tunes.  

Over half (53%) praise the mood-boosting benefits and 43% the feelings of nostalgia stirred by festive bops. Otherwise, pop (11%) and chillout (10%) are go-to genres to accompany a yuletide dinner.  

Evoke the feeling of home by catering to patrons’ senses. Illuminate the celebrations with cosy warm lights or a crackling fire in a fireplace. Don’t feel like you have to stray too far from your usual atmosphere though, as PPL PRS found that 7% of those who want to eat out for Christmas prefer the atmosphere in restaurants and pubs over Christmas. 

Given that some culinary connoisseurs prefer to eat out for their Christmas meal because they want something different, it might be wise to diversify your Christmas menu. There’s no need to do away with the turkey and trimmings, but add options for those more curious to try in your restaurant and to cater to different dietary requirements.