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04 April 2024

Christmas 2023 Insights: Unlocking Opportunities in the Hospitality Sector

Christmas 2023 Insights: Unlocking Opportunities in the Hospitality Sector

As we reflect on the festive season of 2023, it’s as clear as ever before that the hospitality industry played a crucial role in creating memorable experiences for consumers. According to the research conducted by CGA, nearly three-quarters (73%) of candidates visited various hospitality establishments during this period. These visits not only contributed to high single-digit sales growth but also provided valuable insights through the CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker and the CGA Daily Drinks Tracker.

However, amidst the celebrations, there was a notable shift. The number of people going out declined by five percentage points year-on-year due to the impact of high inflation on consumer spending. Rising costs affected 97% of purchasers, with affordability being a key concern during the festive season.

Despite these challenges, the desire to dine and socialize remains strong. When asked about their priorities during Christmas, 29% of candidates affirmed that visits to hospitality venues would remain at the top of their list. This underscores the sector’s significance in creating memorable moments for consumers during the festive season.

Key Insights for Hospitality Planning Christmas 2024

The 2023 Christmas Report sheds light on popular occasions and dates for festive drinks and meals. As we prepare for 2024, here are some focal points:

  1. Food-Led Experiences: In 2023, food-focused visits took centre stage. The numbers visiting restaurants and culinary-focused pubs increased year-on-year by four and one percentage points, respectively. However, visits to bars and traditional drinking pubs experienced a slight decline.
  2. Channel Shifts: Throughout 2023, there was a noticeable trend away from late-night outings. Consumers favoured earlier and more relaxed occasions. Over half of candidates opted for casual socializing (57%) or laid-back meals (56%), emphasizing the importance of creating comfortable and welcoming environments.
  3. Big Festive Occasions: While everyday experiences matter, special celebrations remain pivotal. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and December 23 were the top dates in people’s diaries. These moments continue to define the heart of the holiday season.

As we look ahead to 2024, it’s crucial that bars, restaurants, pubs and venues leverage these insights to foster exceptional guest experiences by recruiting the right people. Hospitality employees are in unique position to make (or break) a festive experience. Appointing and training staff (and employing enough of them) who provide exceptional customer service, will ensure that your venue remains at the core of future Christmas celebrations.

KPI is here to support your recruitment goals in the ever-evolving world of hospitality. If you have any comments on the above article, have specific requirements or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to our Head of Hospitality Nick Icke on 07528 441 722, email NickI@kpir.co.uk or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, X or Instagram.