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Eating Thanksgiving Dinner In Restaurants

Most people still prefer to experience Thanksgiving dinner at home with friends and family. Thanksgiving still remains the single largest holiday of the year for grocery stores...and the travel industry. Nonetheless, each year, more and more people are choosing to dine out on Thanksgiving Day, and even more are enjoying the convenience of having one or more dishes prepared outside the home.

According to the National Restaurant Association:

  • One in 10 Americans (11 percent) celebrate Thanksgiving Day by dining in one of the nation's 935,000 restaurants.

  • Also according to Association research, more than half (53 percent) of consumers use restaurant-prepared takeout items for all or part of their Thanksgiving Day meals (from complete holiday feasts, to a ready-to-eat turkeys or hams, to side dishes and desserts).

  • Consumers living in smaller households and households without children are more likely to dine out on Thanksgiving. Males are more likely than females to eat at a restaurant on the holiday. Generally, younger adults are more likely to use restaurant takeout items as part of their Thanksgiving meal at home.

  • Restaurants offer consumers nutritious, traditional and creative Thanksgiving dishes without the hours of planning, shopping and cooking—not to mention cleaning up.


  • Year-round, 79 percent of American adults say going to restaurants with family and friends is a better use of leisure time than cooking and cleaning up.


  • Restaurants serve more than meals during this holiday season—they serve their communities too. In fact, year-round, nine out of 10 restaurants are actively engaged in some type of charitable activity and Thanksgiving provides yet another opportunity to underscore their commitment to their neighbors.



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