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Glasgow event venue and Scotland's National Stadium Hampden Park has revealed a new five-year high in the number of confirmed Christmas party bookings providing another clear signal that the nation is easing its way out of recession.
Bookings at Hampden Park have left hospitality bosses feeling that extra bit festive this year as they announce they are already expecting 1000 additional covers this Christmas compared to 2012, even smashing 2008’s pre-recession total.
Despite it only being half way through November, in-house catering specialists Sodexo Prestige, have been busy preparing to welcome more than 6000 guests to the stadium to enjoy their Christmas party in style over the festive period.
Jane Thomson, sales and revenue manager with Sodexo Prestige at Hampden, is delighted to see the turnaround: “The number of covers we have confirmed so far really do speak for themselves, Christmas parties are definitely back.
“Nights out with friends, families or colleagues over the festive period has always been a fantastic way to end a year of hard work so it’s very positive to see the numbers increase so much from last year already when times were still very bleak and people simply were not celebrating in the same way.
“We’ve also noticed the figures are even higher than before the recession hit in 2008 which is very encouraging to see. Hopefully this trend will continue and more people will unwind over the Christmas period and enjoy a fantastic night out with friends, colleagues and family.”
The team at Hampden Park have also noticed businesses are now booking for larger group parties of 100 or more guests, compared to much smaller bookings of five-ten people last year.
However, it is the overall number of covers that have been most impressive this year compared to 3620 in 2008, 4554 in 2009, 3810 in 2010, 3747 in 2011 and 3467 last year.
Jane added: “The festive period is always a very exciting time in our calendar so it’s very encouraging to see businesses booking in much larger groups and seeing guests ready to return and enjoy Christmas with us in what will be a very special occasion for all involved.
“Last year we saw many tables of just five or ten people so the fact we are beginning to see groups of 100 or more again, is very exciting.
“Numbers of bookings are very healthy at this stage and indicate that people and businesses are financially in a much better position this year.”
With Hampden’s Magical Winter Wonderland evenings beginning on Nov 29, for £39.50-£45, guests will be receive a festive cocktail on arrival, a delicious three-course meal complete with tea and coffee and two complimentary drinks before going on to celebrate the night with entertainer and DJ, Steve McKenna.
Sodexo Prestige is the corporate dining, hospitality and events division of Sodexo and partners with 17 top class venues in Scotland – and 50 across the UK – including Hampden Park, where it employs 21 full-time staff.
Other partners include Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Hamilton Park Racecourse, while it also provides catering hospitality for The Open Championship, one of the world’s biggest golfing events.