3.3m people have already made Christmas reservations

1-in-5 UK adults, who celebrate Christmas, have already started planning for Christmas, according to a new consumer poll from research consultancy, KAM. With 7% stating that they’ve already made a reservation for a pub or restaurant for the upcoming festive period and 17% saying they have already invited people to their houses to celebrate.

The research captures consumers’ current intentions for Christmas 2021, assuming that restrictions remain lifted, and results look positive for Hospitality with 1-in-3 adults intending to put more effort into celebrating Christmas this year compared with a normal, pre-Covid Christmas. Download the infographic here.

Katy Moses, MD at KAM: “Christmas 2020 was a relative wash-out for most people so it’s no huge surprise that so many Brits are keen to make this year an even bigger celebration than normal. This is likely to mean that people will be spending more and planning earlier, with an impressive 3.3 million saying they’ve already made reservations for the festive period. It may well actually be the season to be jolly this year.”

KAM found that footfall on Christmas day itself looks set to return to pre-Covid levels with 1-in-10 intending to visit a pub or restaurant- this matches intention level in 2019. The same can be said of New Year’s Eve, with a very similar proportion of consumers saying they intend to visit a pub or restaurant now vs 2019 (22%.)

Based on these current intentions, and assuming restrictions remain lifted, KAM predicts a net increase in people visiting restaurants this festive period compared with normal ‘Pre-Covid’ times- 27% intend to go to restaurants MORE often over the upcoming festive period compared with 20% who say LESS often.

The research found that pubs, however, could see a very small decline overall compared with pre-Covid levels. 20% of consumers said they intend to visit pubs MORE often compared with 26% who say LESS often. The decline is driven by the over 55yr olds. However, even these results suggest overall footfall at pubs should be back up close to pre-covid levels over this festive period based on current intentions.

Katy Moses, MD at KAM: “The research shows that UK consumers are currently feeling excited about this Christmas, and eating and drinking out will play as big a part in their celebrations as it did pre-Covid. Obviously, we’ve learned the hard way that a lot can change between now and Christmas but, assuming the current restrictions don’t change, it’s looking to be a very Merry Christmas for Hospitality this year.”

You can download the research here. And sign up to receive regular consumer trends here.