Pub group Peach Pubs has reported Christmas party bookings are up 18% compared with this time last year, alongside strong trading trends in all 17 of its sites.
This comes after last year's post-Christmas trading results saw the company's "most successful week on record", with 7.1% like-for-like increase and sales of over £600,000 in the last week before Christmas 2013.
The company has attributed the festive season's success so far to its concerted effort to focus on Christmas, including new menus, decorations and a push for advance bookings, in particular thanks to its sign-up with online booking site Opentable. It also hopes to see continued growth in the New Year.
Co-founder Hamish Stoddart said: "We are well up on bookings for Christmas meals and parties and are very optimistic about how things are going in the run-up to Christmas. Things are going well and we're definitely beating last year."
He added that the High Field pub had already made a mark in Edgbaston, "with strong bar and restaurant sales, sell-out events and a big call for its two private dining rooms".
Also co-founded by Lee Cash â' who together with Stoddart won the Pub and Bar Catey Award in 2012 â' Peach Pubs' 17 sites include the James Figg in Thame and the Fleece in Witney, the White Horse in Harpenden, and the Fishes near Oxford.