Pub chain JD Wetherspooon has thrown down the gauntlet for a credit-crunch Christmas, offering a turkey dinner with a drink for just £5.99.
The meal comes with all the traditional trimmings - including stuffing, sprouts, sausages wrapped in bacon, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Customers at the company's 700-plus pubs, including the Lloyds No 1 chain, will also be able to choose salmon fillet or a mushroom and chickpea roast vegetarian option for the same price.
Drinks on offer as part of the deal include Carlsberg, Tuborg, Ruddles, Strongbow and a 175ml glass of red, white and rose wine. Desserts - including Christmas pudding - and starters will be available at an extra charge, while a children's Christmas menu will offer a meal and a drink at £3.99.
The offer is a clear signal that independent pubs can expect to face fierce competition for festive trade from the managed pub sector - quashing hopes that that the run-up to Christmas would see an easing of the deals and voucher discounts which have been used to drive trade all this year.
Wetherspoon is urging customers to book early either online or at their local pub. Bookings are initially being advertised up to December 16, but the company confirmed that the £5.99 price would not be increased in the week before Christmas.