Many Diners Choosing Restaurants This Thanksgiving

Photo from Ritz Carlton & Four Seasons Club Resorts website

Next Thursday, many families will gather together for turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and rolls.  But not all.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 30 million Americans will be headed out to a restaurant instead.

To break it down, based on a recent survey, NRA estimates 14 million will eat at a restaurant and 16 million will use takeout of some sort.

In a quote from this NRA article, Senior Vice President of NRA’s Research and Knowledge Group, Hudson Riehle, said:

“Our research clearly shows that the convenience of restaurant meals—not having to shop, cook and clean up—drives consumer behavior and will lead millions of Americans to patronize restaurants this Thanksgiving.”

Convenience seems to be the leading factor for diners choosing to eat out instead of at home.  In fact, 63 percent of those the NRA surveyed said convenience was their main reason to dine out instead of in.

Riehle also mentioned 20 percent plan to shop on Black Friday with almost seven out of 10 planning to eat out during their shopping adventure.

Speaking of Black Friday….

This year’s Black Friday may make restaurant sales more interesting than in years passed with some of the heavy-hitting Black Friday stores such as Walmart, Target and ToysRUs opening their doors at midnight on Black Friday or even 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“Savvy diners can also do some holiday shopping while enjoying their restaurant meal by purchasing restaurant gift cards. Our research also shows that restaurant gift certificates top the list of gifts consumers want to receive on special occasions,” Riehle said.

Either way, Executive Vice President of the Indiana Restaurant Association Debbie Scott agrees convenience will probably be a driving force.

“Whether people shop earlier or not, a significant number will still be looking for the convenience of restaurants to help lighten their busy schedules,” she said.

For more information, check out NRA’s press release about restaurants this Thanksgiving.

Graph from the National Restaurant Association

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