Some Auckland restaurants say they are being "inundated" with customer bookings even though the opening day for hospitality remains uncertain.
Michael Dearth, owner of Baduzzi and The Grove restaurants, said people were looking to celebrate, get out of their house and eat somewhere different.
He said he was getting calls for all sorts of bookings, including corporate and private function booking in the lead-up to Christmas.
A lot of people are celebrating significant anniversaries and birthdays which they had missed out on due to the lockdown, Dearth added.
The hospitality industry remains frustrated over a lack of certainty on when Auckland will move to the Covid-19 traffic light system.
The Government is rolling out its new vaccine passport from today - although the My Covid Record website crashed under demand this morning - and is due to reveal today when Auckland's border is expected to open.
But it's still unclear when hospitality venues might open under restricted conditions and gatherings.
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said Aucklanders were desperate to make the most of the party season are booking up slots with their favourite hospo operators across the city in a bid not to miss out.
"We've spoken to a number of members over the past couple of weeks who have told us that demand is ramping up with bookings being taken for small gatherings as well as private dining rooms and whole venues.
"Our businesses are desperate to make the most of the short window of time they have available to them and have taken forward bookings in the hope that their doors will be open," she said.
She said the Auckland members, particularly those in the CBD, were reporting increasing interest from locals who are hopeful that they'll be allowed to get out and socialise with friends, family and colleagues before the summer break.
"There is a general feeling that December will be a busy time so in a bid not to miss out on reservations businesses and diners alike are planning ahead.
"Auckland businesses have a very short window of time to make up for the long hard three months they have been closed so they want to be sure that they maximise any interest from diners while they can.
"We are anxiously waiting to hear when hospitality will be able to open and business will have to wait until they are given the go-ahead.
"However, the financial pain these businesses are experiencing is sadly real and the opportunity to have some solid trading in December will certainly help to ease some of the burden these businesses are shouldering," Bidois said.