An increasing number of families are opting to take the stress out of Christmas this year by choosing to dine out, according to which has reported a 63% year on year spike in Christmas Day bookings to its restaurants nationwide.

In the last four years, Bookatable has seen an 251% increase in Christmas bookings from 2011 to 2015, showing Brits are turning to restaurants at Christmas to help them spend proper quality time as a family. As it stands, the majority of Brits (70%) who cook on Christmas Day spend between 3-5 hours in the kitchen away from family and friends, and when the festivities are over, 78% spend up to three hours tidying up.

Following the findings, the restaurant booking platform commissioned a study investigating this significant shift towards dining out on Christmas Day – something that was rarely considered in past generations. Reflecting Bookatable’s own Christmas bookings surge, 14 million Brits (23%) have eaten out on Christmas Day and a further 35% are considering dining out on Christmas Day in the future.

Contrary to Christmas being the season of good will, it’s not just time but also money that stings. A fifth (21%) of Brits host Christmas Dinner each year and as a result, feel out of pocket. 87% feel they buy too much food that goes to waste as well as ingredients that are not used at any other time of the year. Over eight million Brits (13%) spend at least £500 on food for Christmas Dinner, and one in four (38%) cater for special dietary requirements when cooking Christmas Dinner, including food intolerances and fussy eaters.

Robert Prendergast, head chef at The Waldorf Hilton restaurant, commented: “Opening the restaurant on Christmas Day is a bit magical for us here at the Waldorf Hilton. There is always a sense of family resonating around the hotel amongst the team on Christmas morning with the excitement that we are going to be looking after someone else’s family, filling their day with warmth, service, good food and creating memories. The truth of it really is that it’s what we enjoy doing, making someone’s day special. It’s the service industry which we love and sharing someone’s Christmas Day makes it that extra bit more rewarding.”

In the light of these festive stresses, Brits are turning to restaurants at Christmas to help them spend proper quality time as a family. Dining out in restaurants removes the often more costly and time consuming elements of the day, allowing families to spend this time together.