The number of people dining out on Christmas Day has risen by 139% in five years

The findings were revealed by booking platform OpenTable

Updated on • Written By Caroline Hendry

The number of people dining out on Christmas Day has risen by 139% in five years

OpenTable has revealed that Christmas Day restaurant dining in the UK has risen by a massive 139% in the last few years.

The world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations analysed bookings from 2014 to 2018 to identify British habits for dining out on 25 December. The research concluded that many people are now favouring the stress-free option of enjoying their Christmas feast in a restaurant, with 2018 seeing a further 26% year on year booking increase for Christmas Day restaurant dinners.

Although making Christmas dinner at home can be rewarding, there’s no denying that it’s quite the stressful affair. It comes as little surprise then, that UK diners are ditching the mounds of unpeeled potato and giving up trying to wrestle the turkey into the oven, instead opting to visit a restaurant on the big day instead.

OpenTable’s research also revealed the top 10 cuisines that were booked for Christmas Day dining in 2018. British cuisine came out on top with 18% of the share, while Italian fare was a close second, accounting for 12% of Christmas Day bookings. Other cuisines represented in the list include Indian in fourth place (7%) and Asian in the number eight spot (4%). Perhaps the most unexpected inclusion is afternoon tea, which scraped into the top 10 with 3% of the share.

Adrian Valeriano, VP EMEA, OpenTable, comments: “Christmas Day restaurant bookings have continued to accelerate, showing that many in the UK are aiming to shed the stress of the big Christmas cook to sit back and enjoy their food with friends and family." 

“Brits are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants providing fantastic food in an intimate environment, perfect for a Christmas Day dinner. Alternatively, as people start to explore other cultures’ Christmas traditions, dining out on Christmas Day gives them the chance to truly experiment with the cuisines they try!”

You can check out the full list of the top 10 cuisines booked for Christmas Day dining 2018 below:

1. British (18%)
2. Italian (12%)
3. Modern European (7%)
4. Indian (7%)
5. French (6%)
6. Steak (6%)
7. European (4%)
8. Asian (4%)
9. Contemporary European (3%)
10. Afternoon Tea (3%)

If you’re wondering which restaurant to visit for your Christmas dinner, check out three of our top picks below:

Dinner by Heston: Head here for a six-course Christmas dinner that will excite and intrigue (£295pp)

Ham Yard: Christmas Day here means a tantalising four-course menu and a glass of Champagne (£130pp)

Bloomsbury Street Kitchen: Christmas Day is a luxury affair here, with your five-course lunch including lobster and beef Wellington (£95pp)

Already excited about the countdown to Christmas? Check out these delicious advent calendars for food and drink lovers.