In its Christmas menu analysis it found that the majority of operators focused on festive/party menus with 96% of pub operators and 76% of casual restaurants offering such a menu.
The survey of 25 bar and pub brands revealed that prices grew strongly at pub restaurants with the largest increase seen on festive and party menus, with entry and exit prices increasing by 3.5% and 4.8% respectively.
The rapid price growth was driven by premium pub brands Young’s operated Geronimo Inns and Mitchells & Butlers owned Browns, which increased their festive exit prices by 27% and 17% respectively.
Browns offered a festive party menu at £34.95 for three courses, an increase of 16.7% on the previous year. Notable price increases were seen at Greene King chain Chef & Brewer and Whitbread-owned Table Table - 12.5% each.
The average number of mains increased from four to five for Christmas Day menus at pub restaurants, driven by brands including Mitchells & Butlers Nicholson’s. It increased its main offering from four to seven including Classic Roast Turkey, Nicholson’s Fish & Chips and Mushroom, Brie and Nut Wellington.
Pub restaurants also offered a wider range of Christmas dishes in 2016 with a number of meat options available at Nicholson’s and Geronimo Inns including turkey, beef, duck and fish.
At casual restaurants, festive menus continued to grow year-on-year, with entry prices up 3.1% on average, and with Cote, Strada and Zizzi pushing up entry prices by more than 30%.
Côte introduced the biggest entry price hike - up by 50% to £29.95 this year, with the brand removing its set menu priced at £19.95.
Café Rouge and Wahaca had the highest exit price increase of 25.3% in 2016, with both offering an alcoholic beverage with their festive menu resulting in an additional cost.