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Ideas and insights for a successful festive season

Christmas is a key calendar event for the hospitality sector, and Bidfood's new Christmas Insights Guide can give you the edge you need to make the most of it. The guide is based on the results of a nationwide consumer survey they commissioned, and provides valuable insights into what consumers are looking for this Christmas. We take a look at some of the highlights.

As we all know, Christmas is a hectic time of year for hospitality businesses. And that means it's also a great time to generate some extra revenue. But how can you make the most of this opportunity? Well, Bidfood has a useful guide that may be able to help. They worked with research agency 3Gem to conduct a survey of 2,000 UK consumers who celebrate Christmas. The survey ran from 11th to 16th May, and it uncovered some interesting insights into consumer intentions this festive season.

So, what is it that consumers are most excited about this yuletide? Well, it’s probably no surprise that the top three answers were seeing friends and family, giving people gifts in person, and watching favourite Christmas films. These firm favourites were closely followed by going out for meals and/or drinks, so the eating out occasion is still seemingly an important part of the Christmas celebrations for many.

Thankfully, after the last couple of years of lockdowns and restrictions, it looks like the holidays are going to be a busy time for socialising, with a third of people saying they want to make up for lost occasions. This is especially true for younger people, with 58% of 18-34-year-olds saying they plan to socialise as much as possible. And it looks like the North East is going to be the region where people are most likely to let their hair down, with 50% intending to socialise as much as possible.

Christmas is a time for giving, but this year, the cost-of-living crisis means that many people will be looking for ways to save money. With only 1 in 5 people saying that their Christmas will be unchanged by the rising cost of living, it's clear that this is an issue that is impacting a lot of people. Therefore, this year, communicating value for money will be crucial, as people will be looking for ways to spend less as they celebrate with loved ones. One potential idea of doing this from Bidfood, is to focus on promoting lower-cost items such as breakfast and coffee occasions, rather than higher-priced dinners. And for those who are staying at home, offering delivery menus could help to reduce transport, drinking and childcare costs for cost-conscious customers but still bring revenue into your business.

As we all know, Christmas is a time for indulgence. Whether it's tucking into a massive turkey dinner or enjoying one too many festive cocktails, we're all likely to spend a bit more than usual over the holiday period. And it looks like we're expecting to spend similar amounts to 2021 this year, with the research showing that an average person plans to spend £41 on food and drink every time they go out. Of course, Londoners are likely to spend the most, with an expected average of £52 per head. But regardless of your business location, it's important to remember that value for money is still important to consumers. Therefore, if you're planning on putting up your prices this Christmas, make sure you're offering and promoting quality and value in return.

So, you're gearing up for the big day. You've got your menu sorted and your staff are ready to go. But what about Christmas Day itself? Over a quarter of people will go out on Christmas Day, whether for food or drinks. Despite Christmas Day being an at-home occasion for the majority of people, there’s still a clear opportunity for an out-of-home market. 16% of people are intending to eat out at a pub, bar or restaurant this Christmas Day but this rises to 38% of under 25s and 27% of 35-44s. And those in London are much more likely to eat out on Christmas Day compared to other regions – with 45% intending to do so.

12% of people intend to go out for drinks on Christmas Day, therefore Bidfood recommends considering opportunities to upsell here with canapes, bar snacks and nibbles, or even Christmas brunch offerings earlier in the day.

Those who will go out on Christmas Day are prepared to spend much more so, despite fewer people coming through the door, operators have an opportunity to really maximise revenue and upsell. The average spend on food per head is £65, and on drinks, it’s £31. In London, this is slightly higher than other regions, with an average spend of £74.33 and on drinks £35.18. However, with quality being the priority this year when choosing a venue for Christmas Day, make sure you emphasise any use of quality ingredients or the exclusivity of dishes. Also, extend the occasion to add additional courses to the Christmas Day set menus, offering after-dinner dinks or pre-starter canapes to keep people in your venue longer. This will help you make the most of the festive season!

These are just a few of the insights and ideas generated from the research, so we recommend you check the full guide out yourself. Simply click the below to read at your leisure. And if you want more information on Bidfood or support on helping to finalise your Christmas plans, get in touch with Beacon. We’d be more than happy to help or put you in touch with one of our expert partners.

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