- One in seven people in the UK will not have a face-to-face conversation on Christmas Day
- Greene King will be committing £250,000 worth of free Christmas meals, the equivalent of around 5,500 meals
- 22% of people across the UK have said that they will be cutting back on Christmas socialising this year, compared to last year
Six million or one in seven (14%) people across the UK will go through Christmas Day without a face-to-face conversation this year, according to new research from Greene King.
A nationally representative survey found that, of those spending Christmas Day alone, 16% will do so because their relatives or friends they would like to see live too far away, or are unable to travel, and 13% have yet to be invited to see anyone.
These findings follow the announcement that Greene King will be committing £250,000 worth of free Christmas meals, the equivalent of around 5,500 meals, to customers that might be on their own this festive season, in participating pubs (including its Flaming Grill and Hungry Horse sites) as part of its Christmas Community Tables initiative.
General managers from participating pubs will be inviting six people from their local community, who are planning to spend Christmas by themselves, to enjoy a three-course meal on the house.
This follows Greene King’s recently launched Hungry Horse Toy Boxing appeal, which collects donations of pre-loved and new toys to donate to local charities. In addition, team members from Greene King’s support centres in Bury St Edmunds and Burton-on-Trent are supporting local food banks by donating items for families in need.
Greene King hopes that these free meals will help to combat the feeling of loneliness this time of year, which is likely to be compounded for many by the cost of living.
Mark Gordon, General Manager of The King’s Arms, Hungry Horse said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for many of us, so I’m proud to say that my pub will be participating in the Christmas Community Tables.
“We trialled the initiative last year with some regulars who I knew would be spending the day alone. They came in on Christmas Day, enjoyed a great meal and had a lovely time together. They didn’t know each other before Christmas and now they come in regularly as a group.”
Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King, said: “Pubs are at the heart of communities across the country, bringing people together from all walks of life. I’m pleased that we can play our part by bringing festive joy to as many as 5,500 people, who may otherwise be spending Christmas alone.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Survey data taken from a survey of 2,000 UK adults via Opinium in November 2023
About Greene King
Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.
At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands.
- Greene King pubs are located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country
- Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill
- Partnerships & Ventures includes Pub Partners, which runs our tenanted and leased pubs business and Hive Franchise pubs, and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs
- Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best and our premium beers, Level Head and Flint Eye, brewed for the modern-day drinker
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