"Christmas Day is our busiest day of the year"
One of Huddersfield’s most popular curry houses is hoping to beat its record of serving up 440 meals to diners on Christmas Day in 2021.
The award-winning Shama restaurant on Bradford Road began the tradition of serving a full Christmas Day meal several years ago.
Manager Shahid Hussain revealed that 2019 was their best year ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 prevented the restaurant from offering the service.
But Shahid revealed that customers are already piling in with the restaurant two-thirds booked.
The six-course meal costs £29.95 for adults and £14.95 for children under 12.
The prospect of cooking Christmas Dinner can be daunting and despite serving up hundreds of meals for the occasion, takeaway manager Ikram Mohammed says the restaurant is prepared.
He said: “We are an extremely professional, well-run outfit and we will have 35 – 40 staff in on the day to make sure it all runs smoothly.
“And to be honest because everyone is booked in to slots from 1 pm to 6 pm it’s one of our easiest days of the year to manage as we know precisely how many people are coming and when.
“We created a spreadsheet so everything is tracked and nothing is left to chance.
“It’s the biggest amount of bookings we deal with in a single day during the year but we are old hands and everyone enjoys it.
“In previous years we didn’t open for so long but we have added more tables and extended the opening hours which has allowed us to be even more composed.
“Christmas Day is our busiest day of the year but it’s all pre-planned with a six-course meal including desserts which customers book in advance.
“There are crackers on the table and the restaurant is given a proper Christmas makeover with decorations everywhere.
“We are two-thirds booked, that’s about 300-350 people already and we are still taking them though there’s nothing between 2 pm – 3:30 pm.
“I really enjoy the day as I thrive on being busy and it’s great to feel that buzz as everyone starts filtering in.”
“It’s good fun and it’s nice to see people enjoying themselves so much.”
Shahid told The Examiner: “I enjoy Christmas Day. It’s a nice day, we get a lot of families coming in which is great to see as well as couples.”
Although the restaurant decided to stop serving alcohol several years ago, they have no issue with customers bringing their own.