The Profit-Boosting Power of Bank Holiday Weekends (12 Stats to Know)

The Profit-Boosting Power of Bank Holiday Weekends (12 Stats to Know)

Bank holidays should mean busy days and nights for your venue, if you can attract diners and prepare well to provide a seamless experience from start to finish. Here are 12 stats that show the true potential of long weekends bookings for restaurants, bars, and hotels.

A much-needed day away from the daily grind could also mean a day away from the kitchen for a lot of people, so bank holidays are a great opportunity for folks to relax, spend time with friends and family, and let someone else do the cooking! That’s why it is so important to ensure your venue is prepared to fully capitalise on a potential increase in customers and profits over the next bank holiday weekend.

Data from our UK & IE Hospitality Industry Report 2024 shows diners are already planning to spend more time and money dining out this year. With the anticipation of an additional day off work and, who knows, maybe even some nice weather, it could be the perfect recipe for a little extra spending and revenue for your business.

So, how important are these long weekends to our industry and how do you help those hungry or thirsty bank holiday customers find their way to your bar or restaurant? We uncover everything in this article.

You can also get prepared for bank holidays the right way by following our comprehensive checklist for bumper weekends. Read it here!

Customer paying for restaurant meal with smartphone

Potential revenue boost from bank holidays

Research shows that during last year’s May holiday, spending at restaurants was up more than 15% from 2022 while spending at bars, clubs and pubs in May 2023 was 6.4% more than the year before – likely due to the extra bank Holidays. This is positive news for venue owners and operators looking to maximise their revenue during upcoming bank Holidays.

With that being said, pubs seem to have benefitted the most, with an 8.8% increase in like-for-like sales, while UK restaurants also recorded an increase of over 3% in transaction volumes during the long weekend last May (2023) in comparison to the year before.

In 2023, at the time of the King’s Coronation (again, in May), three quarters of Brits announced their intention to make a trip to a pub over the bank holiday

But it’s not just spring bank holidays that have the most potential to positively impact revenue in the hospitality sector. Data from Charles & Dean showed the August bank holiday weekend could contribute a whopping £5.8bn in sales, with an average of £138.55 in bars, restaurants, and hotels!

As you can see, there is real potential for pumping up your profits over bank holiday weekends. The challenge is ensuring your venue can stand out from the crowd and you can convince those hungry holidayers to reserve a spot in your restaurant or bar.

Keen to learn more of the latest trends from venues and diners in the UK and Ireland? Check out our hospitality industry report for 2024.


Woman using smartphone with screenshot of restaurant promotion.

Pump up the promotion for early bookings

It’s clear that people take advantage of a special holiday to dine out and drink more. For example, diners celebrated Mother’s Day across the UK with way more wine sales than last year – an increase of nearly 50%!

bank holidays mean a break from the everyday routine for your potential customers, and could be the perfect opportunity to offer them something new to try. Consider a special menu for the weekend or introducing a new feature like bottomless brunch, or a discount for families with young children to enjoy a pub garden for lunch. An upcoming ResDiary report on summer trading in the hospitality sector will show that pub gardens, waterside locations and rooftop terraces are all top draws for diners!

Survey data shows that 45% of people who plan to shop during the bank holiday combine it with a meal out, and 30% plan to meet up with a friend for coffee or drinks. So, there could be real value in adding a way to entice day-time trade.

Data from the UK Government also revealed that a mega 9.7 million people intended to travel domestically over the August bank holiday weekend in 2023! That means many people are likely to be planning their bank holiday weekends well in advance, which is the perfect time to attract them to your venue and make an online booking. Whether you are  based in a seaside location, a beautiful countryside, or a popular city destination, don’t miss this golden opportunity and bank those early bookings!

Two pictures one with a stressed restaurant worker and one with a happy waitress

Planning in advance or flying by the seat of your pants?

Advertising your bank holiday promotion or special offers is key to announcing what’s planned, but it can also be a great way to encourage diners to make a reservation way in advance. This will give your team more time to prepare your venue and optimise your operations for the bank holiday weekend.

Include messaging in your advertising and a call to action reminding diners they should reserve a table to avoid missing out, or offer incentives like discounts or deals for those who book early. The rewards for your restaurant can be plentiful.

We know that 76% of diners prefer to make their reservations online when it comes to booking a table at a restaurant. Use that to your advantage! Send your previous diners an email advertising your bank holiday specials and a promo code to plug in when they make a reservation.

Not only are you ensuring your tables are full, but you’re also encouraging customers to include a visit to your restaurant in their bank holiday plans instead of just hoping they might stop by if they’re in the neighbourhood.

Better still, every online table booking offers the opportunity to grow your customer base. This will empower you to learn more about your customers and build a deeper relationship by offering them personalised experiences and bespoke special offers. That means you can turn a single bank holiday table booking into a valuable long-term customer. 

Could you do more with your booking data to create more regular diners? Don't worry if not, we've got 10 tips for you!


Screenshot of booking widget

Bank holiday table bookings made easy

Making sure your venue's reservations are handled correctly and well-managed doesn’t have to be a difficult task – and we can help!

ResDiary is a restaurant booking system that has the tools to take away the stress of busy bank holiday weekends while also helping you to maximise your profits. If you’re currently struggling to attract diners and manage your bookings, check out our useful Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Booking Systems.


Are you ready to boost your revenue over the next bank holiday weekend?

Now you know the 12 key stats that show the true potential of bank holidays, you’re ready to boost your revenue by maximising your online bookings. Check out our complete checklist to fully prepare for bank holiday success.

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