It's an old tradition in China to have a big dinner with family members on the eve of Spring Festival. [File Photo: haixi.com]
When it comes to the most efficient way to prepare for the annual New Year's Eve dinner, booking a meal in a restaurant online from a group buying website is the preferred choice for many people nowadays, especially among the young who are often busy with work.
Cheng Yongchuan, who works as an administrator for a website is one such person.
"It saves me lots of trouble such as running around looking for a proper restaurant and making phone calls to order the dinner. In fact, by booking online with a group of others you receive discounts; this is one of the reasons why we've booked the New Year's Eve dinner online this year."
Ordering restaurant seats online has many advantages, however, some say dining out will always lack the atmosphere that can only be achieved by eating at home. Therefore, many people still prefer to dine at home with their family. And for this group of people, shopping for a pre-prepared meal online and cooking at home is one way to save time and expenses.
Or, if you like, you can also order cooked dishes online and have them delivered to your home. Cheng Yongchuan's colleague Siriguleng says.
"Those dishes that we aren't able to make or are hard to make, we can order them online, and have them delivered to our homes directly. It's something new to us; ordering dishes online for the New Year's Eve dinner."
However, for people who want to eat at home and enjoy home-made dishes, there is another way - ordering household service through specialized agencies.
In Haimen city, Jiangsu province, a household service agency says their New Year's Eve cooking service is fully booked. (upsound) One chef says the processing fee for each package dish stands at 50 yuan, and if all the ingredients are to be prepared by the chef, each package dish costs 400 to 450 yuan.