29 per cent of Christmas parties booked in pubs in 2018

reserved sign on restaurant table

Nearly a third (29%) of UK customers chose a pub for their Christmas party, while 56% chose a restaurant and 8% went for a hotel last year, according to research by guest experience management expert HGEM.

One-fifth of consumers source their Christmas party venue in September, with one in seven choosing and booking by the end of the same month.

The research also found that the three key priorities when choosing a venue were being able to preview the menu in advance (64%), how well the venue catered for their desired capacity (49%) and how prepared they were for those with food allergies (39%).

When it came to making a booking, almost three-fifths (58%) of respondents preferred to book over the phone, 17% preferred an online booking system through the company’s website, 13% opted for a traditional walk-in and 12% booked via email.

During the booking process, two-fifths (40%) of consumers admitted an unfriendly tone over the phone stopped them from making a booking, with pushy sales tactics (22%) and team members lacking information (21%) also putting consumers off.

More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said they were likely to book the same venue again, with more than half (53%) also welcoming post-event marketing communications.

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