Customers willing to spend up to £45 per head in pubs over Christmas

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

Customers willing to spend up to £45 per head in pubs over Christmas

Related tags: Christmas

Christmas spend in pubs increased by more than 13% last year, with customers willing to spend up to £45 per head, new research has shown.

With such a large amount of revenue to be made, operators should ready themselves now to ensure they maximise the potential, according to catering supplier Stephensons, who carried out the research. 

Around 70% of those quizzed by Stephensons were opting to hold a Christmas party in a pub and would spend between £15 and £45 per head.

Festive revellers are also expected to consume 600 million units of alcohol in December, a 40% increase on regular months, the research claimed.

Food and drinks

To reap the rewards of both wet and dry sales, operators should consider expanding their menus beyond turkey and trimmings to include game and other premium dishes to cover a variety of tastes and preferences.

On the bar, Prosecco and fizzy wine sales are expected to rise, with more than 35m bottles of wine set to be drunk.

Stephensons managing director, Henry Stephenson, said: “Stocking two sizes of Champagne flutes can increase profit margins.

“Providing large flutes when serving bubbly by the bottle and serving individual glasses of champagne in smaller vessels will both encourage further sales.”

Add a little sparkle

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will fall on a weekend this year, which means customers are more likely to visit the pub on Friday. Operators are advised to plan ahead with plenty of staff coverage.

Since 2012 Christmas bookings have risen by 202% and licensees could offer a complementary drinks package to customers who book in advance to ensure a rise in wet sales.

Getting presentation right will also be beneficial, according to the research, especially when serving drinks.

Stephensons Manchester sales manager John Pedley said: “There’s been a huge rise in detailed glassware in recent years, particularly with etched and vintage-style glasses remaining popular.”

Decorating dining areas with Christmas crackers and seasonal tableware helps greet customers to their meal or drinks. According to research, 98% of diners at a festive gathering are expected to spend at least two hours at their table.  

Top Tips

  • Alcohol sales:​ stock two sizes of Champagne flutes to increase sale margins
  • Managing staff:​ plan ahead with staff coverage to ensure the shift runs smoothly
  • Glassware:​ eye-catching glassware could add that ‘wow factor’ when making a classic drink
  • Barware:​ copper is in season this winter, a few accessories behind the bar can add to the party atmosphere
  • Food:​ offer alternatives on the food menu to customers; try adding a game dish or fish
  • Decorations:​ festive tablecloths and Christmas crackers add a personal touch to the pub’s dining area and can greet customers to their tables  

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