Dining Out During the Christmas and New Year Period

Dining out during the Christmas and New Year period is not my choice. Many restaurants have wound down for the year, some have already closed, the chefs and hospitality staff are in need of a well-deserved break after the mayhem of December.

But when friends from abroad and out of town visit regularly during that time of the year, they like to dine out. They give me their choice of cuisine and location and my task is deliver a suitable match.

Finding a restaurant that is open and fits the criteria is always a challenge. But when the majority of establishments I consulted did not advertise their business hours during the holiday period, I lost hours to endless frustration.


Many restaurants, chefs, cafés and eateries are active on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Most have a website that advertises their business. Yet, at this time of the year, finding opening hours online is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Many had not even updated their phone messages.

When I finally found a suitable restaurant, I had no choice but to book online – something I loathe to do at the best of times. The date was available, I was given a choice of times and the booking was accepted by the “real-time restaurant reservation system”. But two days later, an email was sent to advise that the restaurant was closed.

Back to square one. More time wasted and more frustration followed – time I could have spent cooking a fine meal at home for my friends instead of revisiting restaurant websites, Twitter and Facebook for information. In the end, I found a restaurant and made a reservation with a “real person”. Granted, they were open when we arrived, but as soon as we were seated, they informed us that they were out of the core ingredient for their cuisine, as well as other dishes. The menu was significantly compromised and my guests were unimpressed.

Catching up with friends over good food and drink during the Christmas and New Year period is one of the joys of celebrating friendships that transcend time and distance. Wasting hours in frustration over vital information in the age of internet and social media is unfathomable and not conducive to repeat business.

To all the restaurants, cafés and eateries that have publicised their opening hours during the holiday period, I thank you.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


    • Thanks Ben, it had to be said. The industry works very hard throughout the year and they deserve as much of a break as they like, just tell us, the consumers, about it.

    • I understand that many suppliers are also closed during the period, but this core ingredient was crucial! No, we won’t be going back and that’s due to other factors as well…

  • Life is made easier for all concerned and reputations maintained by providing simple information about opening hours on restaurant internet sites. Otherwise patrons are all to easily misled by the internet information. Generally most restaurants frequented over Christmas were great in their service so others don’t be annoyed.

  • Very frustrating indeed. At the very least the reservations system should have been updated so that you didn’t have to wait 2 days to find out the restaurant would be closed. You’re right — there really is no excuse in this age of iinternet and social media.

    • There’s a big push to book online and companies tout their services all year round but fail at crucial times. Small effort to keep the diner happy.