However, for pre-Christmas get-togethers the most popular day on which to book is the 29th November, new consumer data reveals.
Our latest insights have revealed that 11th October is the most popular day for people making reservations for Christmas Day. Other popular days for making Christmas Day bookings include 5th October (in second place) and 27th September.
For Christmas Day the average booking size is for five people, however the research shows that the average booking size over the entire festive period is for 10 guests.
When it comes to these larger festive bookings, the most popular dates on which to make a reservation are 29th November in the top spot, followed by the 28th, 27th and the 22nd, according to data from 2022.
The findings highlight the importance of promoting Christmas Day offers early in the Autumn and party offers later in the season. Operators should also ensure they have the tools in place to accommodate seamless and simple bookings. According to our research into booking trends, a third of consumers now use social media to book tables and so having a reservation system that can be linked to these online platforms will also benefit operators. Connected technologies and automated systems that send out automatic reminders and confirmation communications will also help prevent no-shows, drive reservations and ultimately boost revenue.
Commenting, Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Zonal, said: “At special times such as Christmas, bookings are an important part of the customer journey. With December being the most important time of the year for many hospitality businesses, promoting Christmas bookings and juggling table plans to maximise availability will help operators make the most of the festive period.
“Sadly, there are still plenty of people who do not honour their reservations and this continues to be an extremely costly challenge for venues. Our #ShowUpForHospitality campaign revealed that no-shows cost the industry £17.6bn a year, which is staggering. With 58% of people now preferring to cancel digitally, sending reminder emails and making it quick and easy for guests to change their bookings is a good way for operators to reduce no-shows.”