Eating out will cost less in Italy on Christmas day, as restaurants implement strategies to lure customers to their tables for the traditional Christmas lunch. The measures adopted to beat the economic crisis include offering discounts for large parties and half-price meals for the under-12s, tactics obviously appreciated by consumers, as many provincial eateries are already fully booked for the big day.

According to a study by the Federazione Italiana dei Pubblici Esercizi, 21.4 per cent of restaurants are slashing the cost of Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, with only 7.1 per cent admitting that they will be raising it. Although the great majority say they will be freezing prices this year, 66.7 per cent will be offering greater value for money, with more courses on the set menu. 53,000 restaurants will be staying open on 25 December this year (+2.8%), but the restaurateurs themselves predict that the number of clients will drop by 1.5 per cent compared to 2007. On average, Christmas lunch in a restaurant will cost