Research from the Mystery Dining Company has revealed that restaurants run the risk of disappointing guests over the Christmas period. Common complaints include overcrowding, noise, slow service and inadequate staffing; all of which appear to be linked. However, the biggest factor in Christmas dinner satisfaction was understandably the quality of the food, with three out of four respondents putting it top of the list of priorities.
Meanwhile, a massive 35 per cent admitted they booked a venue for their Christmas dinner with friends or co-workers based solely on the atmosphere. Therefore a tastefully decorated restaurant, decked out in stunning Christmas table linens with seasonal centrepieces, could see establishments bringing in first-time Christmas trade.
Unfortunately, the usually booming Christmas period could be somewhat dampened this year by austerity measures. Employment Law Advisory Services research reveals 40% of SMEs (small to medium enterprises) in the UK will be scrapping their 2010 office party or staff Christmas meal. Providing good value for money will therefore be even more important this year, while many people could opt to hold a Christmas dinner party rather than pay for a restaurant. For those that will be having a Christmas meal, offering choice appears to be more important than ever. Just 43 per cent of diners will opt for a traditional roast with all the trimmings, while 37 per cent would prefer lighter, more modern menus.