By Jason Moore

I felt rather sorry for owners of local restaurants when I saw a news report which indicated that the majority of people would be staying at home on Christmas Eve rather than going out for a festive dinner. A further report said that takings would be down by as much as 30 percent.

Another victim of the recession, I thought. But I was out and about in the centre of Palma on Christmas Eve and I thought I would spread some Christmas cheer by going out for lunch. Now, the first restaurant on my list is extremely popular and does a good value menu of the day. Unfortunately, I was greeted by a large sign which said that the restaurant would not be open on Saturday or Sunday. Oh well, so I headed for another restaurant nearby, also well known. But, a similar story closed for the holidays. Oh well, it is Christmas I thought so I headed for my third choice only to be informed that it would be closed for a staff holiday. So in the end I went home for lunch. Their loss was my gain. My initial sympathy soon disappeared. What restaurant owners have to realise that if they are not open their takings are bound to fall. Now, I know that obviously staff want a break over the Christmas period and from their point of view it is quite understandable. But then restaurant owners should not moan about the lack of trade. The restaurants which have been open over Christmas have done relatively good business. Times are hard and businesses must change with the times.