Changing consumer habits - more preference for eating out at Christmas. | Yeko Photo Studio

The president of the CAEB restaurants association in Mallorca, Alfonso Robledo, says that bookings for Christmas Eve dinner have shot up by comparison with previous years.

Prior to the pandemic, there was a growing trend for restaurants to stay open; it had been the case that most closed over Christmas. But there was increased demand; people were preferring to eat out rather than have a meal at home. In Palma's La Lonja area, practically all the restaurants will be open this year. Away from Palma there is a similar trend.

As to specific demand this year, Robledo believes that this has to do with prices of food and drink. "It's cheaper to dine out than at home. We buy products that are 20% cheaper." He suggests that there is greater awareness among consumers of a tendency to overbuy, which can mean waste, while there is also one big advantage to eating out - no washing up to do.

Robledo explains that restaurants usually offer both set menus and à la carte. The average price for a menu is around 80 euros, but this naturally depends on the restaurant. Mallorcan lamb and suckling pig are among the most popular dishes.

He adds that there has been strong recovery of demand for company Christmas lunches and dinners and expects results that exceed those of 2019. This weekend will be particularly busy, but there has been good demand since late November.

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There is one negative, a consistent theme for several months. Robledo points out that although bookings are strong, profit will be less than it might be because of higher costs.