Festive feasting: 33% of Brits expect to dine out at least once a week this festive season

Dining out is on the menu this celebratory season: new OpenTable commissioned research shows that 33% of Brits are expected to dine out at least once a week this festive season (1st Nov 2023 – 1st Jan 2024), with 61% dining out about the same or more than during the same period in 2022.1

Despite the cost of living crisis, Brits expect to spend an average of £120, per person, dining out throughout the festive season1, with 82% spending more or about the same as they did on festive celebrations in 2022.1 When looking generationally, 18-29 year olds expect to spend the most at £147 on average, per person.1

Tis’ the season to dine solo

OpenTable commissioned research suggests ‘tis the season to dine solo: 17% would dine solo over the festive season, with more than 1 in 5 (22%) expecting to do so weekly.1 Reasons why include: because it’s their “me time” (37%), to relax / switch off (31%), and so they don’t need to share their food (10%).1 Regionally, Leeds (28%), Bristol (26%) Belfast (25%) and London (23%) are the cities with the most residents who would dine solo this festive season.1 This is in line with a larger 2023 dining trend uncovered by OpenTable data, which shows a 4% boost in UK solo diners in 2023 (1st Jan – 30th Sept) year-over-year.3

Discover a new favourite restaurant this celebratory season

Those looking for the perfect venue to celebrate the festivities with friends, family, colleagues, or on their own need look no further for inspiration, as OpenTable celebrates a year of dining with its annual list of Top 100 restaurants in the UK 2023.2

Featuring an updated methodology using new metrics, including diner ratings, percentage of reservations made in advance, and five-star reviews, the list uncovers some of the most in-demand restaurants in the UK on OpenTable, compiled from analysing more than 1.2 million diner reviews.2 From Michelin star and fine dining establishments to pubs and cafés in locations across the UK, the list includes the Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling in St Ives to The French Table in London and Number 16 in Glasgow.

Nearly a third of Londoners (31%) stated that it’s likely they’ll eat out on Christmas Day, the largest percentage across the UK, closely followed by diners in Belfast (30%), compared to a national average of 16%.1 Londoners are in luck, with 35% of the OpenTable UK Top 100 restaurants being on their doorstep, including the renowned Blacklock Soho, Mere and Otto’s Restaurant. Restaurants that made it to the list can also be found in Manchester (five restaurants), Edinburgh (three restaurants), Glasgow (two restaurants), and Birmingham (two restaurants).

“Despite the cost of living crisis, research shows that the majority of Brits will be dining out more or about the same this festive season, compared to last year. Of those looking to eat out, 38% are doing so to enjoy a variety of festive food that they wouldn’t have at home,”1 says Robin Chiang, SVP of International Growth at OpenTable. “2023’s UK Top 100 list2, backed by diner reviews, highlights some of OpenTable’s most beloved restaurants, including fine dining at Michelin starred Opheem in Birmingham to French fare at Café St Honoré in Edinburgh, offering options to help Brits make the celebratory season extra special.”

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