Dining in a restaurant on Christmas Day has risen by 139% in the UK over the past five years, according to a new study by OpenTable. The online reservations provider analysed restaurant bookings from 2014 to 2018 to identify our dining habits on December 25. Its findings suggest many more of us now opt for the stress-free option of eating out, with last year 26% more year-on-year bookings for Christmas Day dinners.

The research also revealed the top 10 cuisines booked: homegrown British cuisine is the favourite with 18% of the share, while Italian meals are second with 12%.

The study comes hot on the heels of a survey of 20,000 AA members that suggested the number of Brits planning to eat out on Christmas Day more than trebled last year.

According to the poll, 10% planned to enjoy their Christmas dinner in a pub or restaurant, while 60% of those planning to dine out were found to be aged over 55.

Eating out was most popular in London and the south east with a showing of 25%, followed by 20% in the Midlands and 15% in the south west.

Of course, with so many of us across the UK choosing to eat out, restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels are, not surprisingly, some of the biggest recruiters right now. 

And, while it may be too early to be watching It’s A Wonderful Life and starting on the mince pies, now is the perfect time to seek out festive jobs. 

x1jobs already has a huge variety of vacancies with many more being unwrapped as the countdown to Christmas continues. 

So, if a job in the hospitality and catering sector is top of your wish list this year, make sure you’re ready to present yourself as the perfect Christmas package for any employer.

Begin by refreshing your CV. Update your recent job experience, contact details and covering letter so you’re ready to hit the send button as soon as a suitable offering on x1jobs catches your eye.

Be clear and concise about what you can offer and how you fit the bill but, above all, show you can be flexible. The greater your availability, the more attractive you become to an employer. 

If you have no previous experience, a great way to get started is to try out roles such as kitchen porter where your daily tasks will include prepping food, taking care of side dishes and maintaining essential hygiene in the kitchen and pantry.

From here you can train on the job to become a sous chef, chef de partie, commis chef, assistant chef – all of whom assist the head chef to produce high quality food 

and ensure the shortest possible waiting times for customers. And if you’re ambitious on progressing your own career, you’ll also be continually learning and honing your own skills. 

For some of the more specialised roles, you’ll need extra training but much of what you’ll learn will come from hands-on experience. 

Of course, how the traditional Christmas dinner is presented and delivered to restaurant patrons is just as important to their dining experience as the turkey and trimmings – or platefuls of penne arrabiata – and this means a need for waiting staff who can maintain the perfect presentation and politeness, even when faced with the sternest of critics.

In fact, catering and hospitality employees must master a wide range of skills that go beyond food and drink preparation – such as admin, customer service and multi-tasking against deadlines. Remember, too, these talents will be very useful for your long-term career choices. As the skills you learn are easily transferable, you can move from being caterer in a variety of places – from school canteens to Michelin-starred restaurants – into many other job sectors.

If your forte is not necessarily in the kitchen or behind the bar but more in organising people and places, events management – whether for a hotel chain, a tourist organisation, a catering company or a bar – could be the best place to use your originality and creativity.

The growth of digitisation, mobile technologies and social media as a marketing tool means tech-savvy events managers are in demand. A range of digital skills (such as online marketing, graphic design and web development) are now as valuable in this sector as those traditional skills used by hotel managers, receptionists and chefs. 

If you’ve never considered working in hospitality before, seasonal working could be an ideal way to get a taster. A temporary position could be the Christmas gift that keeps on giving – leading to a permanent position with the same employer or giving you vital experience to secure another job elsewhere.

So why not tuck into the latest vacancies this Christmas by visiting x1jobs?