Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide

December 17, 2010 10:31 ET

Saturday 18th December is Identified as Christmas Dinner D-Day

Arguments Over the Christmas Dinner Will Kick Off This Weekend

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2010) - New research shows that this coming Saturday will be the day when arguments over the Christmas Dinner will start, with more than 10.3 million people (one in five) getting into a row with their partner or family over dinner preparations.

The research also found that:

  • Curry trumps as top alternative to the traditional Christmas meal
  • More than a third of women do not trust their partner to cook the Christmas turkey
  • Women would rather just check into a hotel for Christmas

British blokes are taking on their fair share of the Christmas dinner cooking duties, but the girls don't trust them to do a good job, preferring to scrap Christmas dinner altogether and check into a hotel.

The research* from Hilton Worldwide shows more than half (55 percent) of British men have cooked Christmas dinner in the past five years, but women just don't rate the boys' skills in the kitchen. More than a third (35 percent) of women who are in a relationship don't think their partner would serve up a decent Christmas dinner and 32 percent think they will be eating late if their partner cooks.1 Nearly a third (32 percent) of women would prefer to spend the day at a hotel, letting someone else do the hard work.

Men are also less likely to watch the purse strings than the girls, spending 15 per cent more, on average, and adding an extra £10 to the cost of the meal2. Men are also more adventurous chefs on Christmas Day with nearly a quarter (23 percent) attempting a dish they have not cooked before3. These differences in the kitchen could be the start of Christmas day drama with December 18th identified as the kick-off date when Christmas arguments start between couples.

And Brits are a clumsy bunch when it comes to Christmas dinner preparation with one in 20 (5 percent) admitting to injuring themselves while cooking the meal.

Chris Galvin, chef patron at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton on Park Lane said: "As a nation, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make Christmas Day perfect, especially those in charge of cooking Christmas dinner. For many, the allure of checking into a hotel or restaurant means being able to relax and enjoy the day with friends and family instead of arguing over how to cook the turkey!"


Christmas day stress can be too much for 1 in 5 people who argue with a partner or their family about how to get Christmas dinner perfect. And it's just one week out from Christmas when stress levels start to rise with December 18th onwards pinpointed as the period when arguments start regarding the planning and preparation of the Christmas meal. For those who argue with a partner or family member about Christmas dinner, two thirds (67 percent) do so on the day itself.

Top three Christmas meal spoilers4

  • Not serving the meal on time is a problem for more than a third (34 percent) of Christmas cooks with more than a quarter (27 per cent) of those serving the meal up to an hour late. More than half (59 percent) are getting the meal on the table up to 30 minutes behind schedule.
  • Too much Christmas cheer could cause problems for nearly 1 in 5 (17 per cent) who over-indulge on alcohol.
  • Lumpy gravy has made its way on to the table from 16 percent of Christmas Day chefs.


One in 20 (5 percent) Brits admit to injuring themselves while cooking Christmas dinner. The most common accidents reported among those were burning hands or arms on the oven (38 percent), burns or scalds (31 percent) and nearly one third (31 percent) suffered a cut finger when chopping or carving food. Even the turkey can be a hazard and cause injuries – pulling a muscle whilst lifting the turkey out of oven, managed to make an appearance in the survey results.


Spending on the Christmas meal is down on last year, a possible reflection of a tough year on the finances for many. Brits cooking Christmas dinner spent £75 on average last year compared with an estimated £71 for 2010. The majority (55 percent) of those cooking Christmas dinner this year predict they will spend up to £60. Men are also less frugal than their female counterparts spending an average of £10 more than women.

Big spenders - who will spend the most on cooking Christmas dinner this year?

1. Greater London - £95 on average (1 in 10 will spend more than £200)
2. Scotland - £91 on average (1 in 10 will spend more than £200)
3. South East £82 on average (9 percent will spend more than £200)


Despite 1 in 10 people overcooking the brussel sprouts and 16 percent admitting to serving lumpy gravy, almost half (47 percent) of Brits still love eating their traditional Christmas roast and wouldn't give it up. However, among those who would consider an alternative, curry is the preferred dish for 1 in 3 (33 percent).

The allure of someone else doing all the work is still appealing for 1 in 10 people who are choosing to eat out this Christmas.

Favourite Christmas meal substitute for those who would like an alternative

1. Curry (33 percent)
2. Barbecue (20 percent)
3. Fish and Chips (17 percent)
4. Pizza (11 percent)
5. Vegetable stir fry (4 percent)

Chris Galvin, chef patron at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton on Park Lane has put together top five helpful tips on how to make your Christmas meal go according to plan.

Get organised!

You don't want Christmas to turn into a military exercise but planning is the key to success. Write a list of everything that needs to be done from groceries to gifts and don't be afraid to ask for help. Writing a basic inventory of kitchenware will help you work out the number of plates, glasses and serving dishes needed on the day. And remember to check the size of your oven to be sure the turkey will fit!

Don't forget the tin-foil!

The last thing you want to be doing on Christmas Eve is making a last minute trip to the supermarket. Be sure to purchase all ingredients in advance and consider ordering online to avoid the supermarket madness. Don't forget non-food essentials such as napkins, candles, matches and tin-foil.

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Do what you can the day before. Peel and cut the potatoes leaving them in a bowl of cold water, prepare the stuffing and refrigerate it, lay the table. Christmas is a day for family after-all so the less time spent in the kitchen the better. Check food allergies, likes and dislikes in advance – if no-one likes brussels sprouts then consider an alternative. This cuts down on food waste and the amount of leftovers you'll need to recycle.

No Christmas Day New-Comers

Don't be overly ambitious when it comes to Christmas dinner – the key is getting the basics right. If you want a stress-free day it's best to avoid dishes you haven't cooked before. Alternatively you could practice in advance.

It's all about the Turkey

Buy the best bronze free-range turkey available from your butcher – or a local farm if possible – and ask them to prepare it for you. If they bone and roll the leg it will be much easier to cook and will give you more time to enjoy a relaxing Christmas

Enjoy it!

Of course you want to make the day perfect but it's your day too. Be sure to spend plenty of time with the family, enjoying a glass of mulled wine and some Christmas tele. Or take the pressure off altogether and check into a hotel!

To take the hassle out of Christmas Day visit www.hilton.co.uk or www.doubletreebyhilton.co.uk and find out what is happening at our properties around the country this December 25th.

Notes to editors:

*Research commissioned by PCP on a sample size of over 1000 respondents nationwide. Research was conducted online between 29th November and 30th November 2010.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 91 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,600 hotels and 600,000 rooms in 82 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit www.hiltonworldwide.com.

1 Based on those who have cooked in the last 5 years or who will cook this year

2 Based on those who will be cooking Christmas dinner this year

3 Based on those who have cooked in the last 5 years or who will cook this year

4 Based on those who have cooked Christmas dinner in the last 5 years or who will cook this year

Contact Information

  • Golley Slater
    Louise Harris
    + 44 0207 255 6461
    Golley Slater
    Fiona Vickery
    + 44 0207 255 6400