In the months and weeks leading up to the winter holidays, we’ll be sharing tips to help restaurants prepare for the busiest time of the year. Check back for more ways to make this your best holiday season yet!
We know the final months of the year are the busiest time for restaurants: houses are packed, parties are big, hours are long, and check averages are (hopefully) high. With friends and family traveling to spend time together and celebratory spirits high, it’s the perfect time to reach a new audience of diners.
But what’s the story on the holidays themselves, from Thanksgiving and Christmas to New Year’s Eve? Do guests want to spend those special occasions at restaurants?
We looked at our 2014 data for the United States to gauge the volume of holiday diners, looking at covers on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve compared to the four corresponding weekdays leading up to the holiday. (In other words, comparing Thanksgiving volume to the four Thursdays before the holiday.)
Here’s what we saw:
Increase in Covers for the Holidays
- New Year’s Eve is by far the most in-demand, up 272% from the average Wednesday before the holiday. Historically it’s been one of our biggest days of the year for covers.
- Almost twice as many people (+94%) dine out on Christmas Eve compared to the average day.
- Christmas volume is similar to the weeks prior (+5%), but that still represents a high volume, since the week before the holidays saw a big spike in covers.
- Another significant increase occurs on Thanksgiving itself (+56%), proving not everyone is cooking at home. And with more chefs and restaurants creating special holiday menus, it’s no surprise they are drawing in diners.