Well, nearly. Actually there’s less than 100 days to go until the big day.
Here at KAM we’ve carried out some nationally representative research amongst consumers to see how and where they are planning to spend the festive period this year, and how much of their plans involve the hospitality sector.
Whilst 34% say they are planning to spend less this year in pubs and restaurants, and whilst there’s a clear case of the ‘careful’ consumer with the cost of living crisis, 49% of people say they will visit a pub or bar or restaurant over the period.
19% of respondents have already made their Christmas plans and 10% have already booked a pub or restaurant during the festive period, up 1% on last year. Only 27% of people said they won’t make plans until December – and most of these are either those without children, or those identifying as male.
Nearly 1 in 10 intend to visit a pub on Christmas Day, which is back to pre-pandemic levels, and Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve are following the same pattern.
And BIG bookings are back! Over 39% of people said they will definitely be visiting a hospitality venue with 12 or more people. And what about how they book and what they expect? 46% want to speak directly to the venue with 32% wanting a same day response to an enquiry. So responding and response times are definitely key.
Set menus / packages are popular with 37% of consumers, and 60% want to be able to pre-order their food from a set menu as it’s easier and less stressful, with 39% also wanting to pre-order drinks.
Finally – hospitality gifting remains ever popular, with 39% saying they would buy a gift card for a pub / restaurant as a Christmas gift.
Maximising your Christmas
So, the message is that despite the current economic climate, there are some key – and relatively simple – wins for operators.
- Whilst lots have already made their Christmas plans, plenty haven’t – so push that marketing message!
- Look at your packages and make sure customers can pre-order both food and drink
- Think about your bookings process – customers want contact! Follow up enquiries promptly, and secure that deposit (74% are happy to pay a deposit!)
- Get in on the gifting game – there’s a big potential market for hospitality gifting
You can access the infographic here
If you’re interested to access more about Hospitality research take a look at our Knowledge Hub (lots of free insight!)