Have you seen a drop in Christmas bookings?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Operator opinion: have you seen a decrease in the level of Christmas bookings at your pub? (image: Getty/Liliboas)
Operator opinion: have you seen a decrease in the level of Christmas bookings at your pub? (image: Getty/Liliboas)

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While Christmas is just weeks away, the ongoing rising costs are impacting both consumers and businesses.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) recently revealed operators were seeing bookings drop by 20%​, in a survey of almost 5,000 pubs.


Have you seen a drop in Christmas bookings?

  • Yes - more than 100%

  • Yes - more than 75%

  • Yes - more than 50%

  • Yes - more than 25%

  • Yes - more than 10%

  • No


However, it was hoped the World Cup would bolster bookings by an extra 10% as the tournament got going.

Furthermore, research from Heineken last month (October) found 48% of consumers surveyed were more likely to watch the football competition in the pub​ this year as it is shown during the festive period.

Christmas planning

This followed CGA Brandtrack data, which showed 7.9m consumers visited pubs during the 2018 World Cup. The same data highlighted how sales peaked at up to five times the average on match days during the tournament, drawing attention to the opportunity World Cup football presents to operators.

Meanwhile, also in October, experts warned operators to ensure they were planning for Christmas​ as soon as possible as food prices continue to soar.

Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson said: “From the turkey dinner right through to the cheeseboard, the price of many seasonal products is high as the peak trading season approaches.

“In addition, core menu items such as dairy, canned tomatoes and cooking oil, which are part of a wide range of recipes, are seeing continued increases and price volatility.

“It will take a strict focus on sensible, planned buying to protect margins and profits during one of the most challenging trading periods the sector has known.”

Rising prices

While Lynx urged operators to plan for Christmas early, this will also pose a challenge because of the uncertainty surrounding how much consumers will be spending over the festive period due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Moreover, recent figures from CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index showed food price inflation hit 19.9% in October – the ninth consecutive month of double-digit rises.

CGA by NielsenIQ client director James Ashurst said: “Soaring costs are making trading exceptionally challenging across the supply chain and eye-watering inflation in several key categories will hit sales and margins again over the crucial Christmas season.”

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