Not so long ago, Christmas was a time to be at home with the family, most of whom probably lived nearby. The roads over the festive period would be fairly quiet and families would be tucking into turkey with all the trimmings. Nowadays our lives have altered, with families likely to be more far flung.
According to a recent report by The Independent, many of us will be escaping these shores over Christmas – whether to visit friends and family or simply to enjoy a holiday. Friday 21 December is set to be the busiest day of the winter at most of Britain’s top airports, including Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Glasgow, with well over 100,000 passengers flying out of Heathrow at a rate of 100 per minute. At Gatwick and Stansted, Sunday 23 December is set to be the busiest day.For people choosing to stay in the UK for Christmas, many will still have a journey ahead of them, with plans to visit relatives far and wide. While they might be intending to enjoy Christmas lunch together, people might not necessarily have the room for lots of relatives to stay overnight, so hotels will be busy. We know from our work supporting pub and hotel operators, that this is a busy time of the year when business travellers staying at hotels are largely replaced by families.We are currently busy handing over a number of hotel and pub projects – which will be up and running ahead of the busy festive period.
Even if we don’t plan to travel far, to many people the thought of cooking the enormous feast is that is Christmas lunch is, quite honestly, terrifying. As a nation, we are much more used to eating out, so many of us are simply making the decision to book a table somewhere for the Christmas meal – whether that be in a hotel, restaurant or local pub.
Figures released by OpenTable – the restaurant booking service – revealed that 2016 saw a 43 per cent increase in diners seated on Christmas Day in the UK, showing a continued trend of more consumers opting out of preparing their own Christmas meal in favour of dining out on December 25
Although a classic British Christmas dinner is the most popular choice in terms of what to eat, there is also an increasing trend to eat something less traditional, whether that’s Italian, Indian or French perhaps.
Adrian Valeriano, VP EMEA, OpenTable, said when the figures were released:
“Precious time relaxing and enjoying delicious, professionally prepared food takes away any pressures that come with creating a home cooked meal. Plus if we want to forgo the traditional Christmas Dinner for a curry or pasta, then we can!”
Whether the restaurants and pubs we are currently working with are opening their doors on Christmas Day or not, the festive and New Year period is still one of the busiest times of the year. Again, we have been working with clients recently to make sure that their new projects or refurbishments are ready to take advantage of this upsurge in business.
While eating out on Christmas Day might be a fairly recent phenomena, enjoying a quick pint at your local on the day itself is a tradition which goes back many years – whether that’s on the way home from a traditional Christmas morning church service or the less culinary skilled family members escaping for a little while as the turkey roasts and the sprouts are boiling.
According to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) around six million people will visit a pub on Christmas Day, with 260 million more pints consumed in December versus an ordinary month.
PSE Associates provides traditional professional Quantity Surveying and Project Management services to many brand leaders in the leisure, retail and commercial sectors.