The number of Britons eating out over the Christmas period has tripled in the last three years, according to a new study by restaurant, pub and bar operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B).
The company, which counts Toby Carvery, Harvester and Sizzling Pubs among its portfolio, said that UK diners aren't waiting for 25 December to tuck into their Christmas dinner with the number of bookings made throughout December having tripled in recent years.
The number of meals sold in the first two weeks of December rose from around 90,000 in 2012 to 272,000 last year.
M&B said the trend echoes the results of a recent consumer survey, which reported that 65% of consumers said they would be having more than two Christmas dinners throughout December, while 7% would be eating five or more.
"Whilst carving the turkey on the 25th is seen as tradition, our survey shows that in actual fact, more of us are having more than one Christmas dinner as a result of catching up with friends and relatives," commented Catriona Kempston, marketing director at M&B.
Research revealed that 82% of people are expecting to celebrate Christmas with family, of which 64% are looking forward to this the most. Celebrating with friends (30%) and the office party (20%) were also high on the list, while just over 10% actually look forward to work parties the least.
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