Christmas dining out triples in three years

If you’re planning to visit a restaurant in the next few weeks then it might be worth booking ahead, as the number of people eating out over the Christmas period has tripled in the last three years.
 
According to new stats from Mitchells & Butlers, the number of meals sold in its outlets in the first two weeks of December rose from 90,468 in 2012 to 272,243 last year.
 
The chain, which is behind the likes of Toby Carvery, Harvester, Sizzling Pubs, All Bar One, Browns, O’Neill’s and others, said that the results echo a recent survey which found that 65 per cent of people will be having more than two Christmas dinners over the next month, while seven per cent plan to have at least five.
 
Predictably, 82 per cent of us plan to eat our Christmas meal with our family, while 64 per cent consider this to be the highlight of the holiday, with 30 per cent choosing their celebrations with their friends and 20 per cent thinking their office party is the main event of the season.
 
However, many of us appear to be quite happy to do without the traditions of Christmas, with 37 per cent choosing steak as an alternative meal for the big day.
 
Speaking about the stats, Catriona Kempston, Marketing Director at Mitchells & Butlers, said: “Whether you're entertaining friends and relatives, travelling to see family, or even having to work over the festive period, Christmas is rarely stress free.
 
“Whilst carving the turkey on the 25th is seen as tradition, our survey shows that in actual fact, more of us are having more than one Christmas dinner as a result of catching up with friends and relatives.”
 
However, other stats recently released by Greene King found there had been a dip in the amount that the average family spends on eating out. The average household total fell by three per cent in September to £84.41 while there was also a three per cent fall in the amount that Brits spent on drinking outside of the home.
 
By Owen Mckeon
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