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150% increase in Brits dining out at Christmas in 2014

Restaurant bookings service,, has revealed that there has been a significant rise in the number of Brits eating out at Christmas, as people look to avoid the stresses of cooking large family meals on 25 December.

Booking data from the company's database of over 800,000 diners was collated to create their Quarterly Dining Trends Report, the findings of which show that there has been a 150% rise in the number of people eating out at Christmas in 2014 from three years ago.

While the data reveals that British food still ranks as the number one cuisine in the UK at Christmas time, overseas gastronomy is clearly emerging as an alternative to more traditional tastes during the period. Indeed, of the top 10 foods during the festive period, American ‘Steaks and Grills’ took 14% of the bookings. And revealing the growing number of French nationals living in Britain, French cuisine was the third most popular, taking a 7% share of bookings.

Looking at the most in demand restaurants during this period, Afternoon Tea at the Ritz proved to be the most popular restaurant choice in the UK during Christmas, taking a 30% share of all bookings. Outside of London, Alton Towers was found to be the most popular dining venue at Christmas for the rest of the UK, taking 21% of the 10 most popular dining venues in Britain.

Christmas lists

The top ten most popular restaurants in the UK this Christmas season:

  1. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz
  2. Alton Towers
  3. Lady Dinahs Cat Emporium
  4. Cloud 23
  5. Rules
  6. The Witchery
  7. Le Chalet
  8. The Promenade at The Dorchester
  9. Jamie’s Italian at Covent Garden
  10. The Ritz Restaurant in London


The top ten most popular cuisines in the UK this Christmas season:

  1. British
  2. Steaks and Grills
  3. French
  4. Italian
  5. European
  6. Fish and Seafood
  7. International
  8. American
  9. Indian
  10. Mexican

Early booking

The earliest booking for Christmas Day 2014 was made on Tuesday 5 November 2013. Even further in advance, Bookatable discovered that the earliest booking for Christmas 2014 between 1-24 December was made 693 days in advance on Tuesday 8 January 2013.

Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable, commented: “It’s interesting to see the significant rise in demand for restaurant bookings at Christmas, as more and more Britons are opting to eat out rather than endure the stress and growing costs for cooking a traditional family feast at Christmas. As our data shows, the earlier people book, the better the deal they receive and as Brits continue to look for ways to save money at Christmas, we predict that this will continue to grow over the coming years.

“With a number of more exotic cuisines rising to prominence in the UK, there is now also a similar demand for other food types during this period, which is clearly a result of the growing number of different cultures living in the UK. Although traditional British cuisine still dominates the industry at this time, there is certainly a significant movement of Brits trying alternative cuisines during the festive season and we fully expect that in 10 years’ time, the demand for alternative cuisine will continue to increase.”

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