NRA: Restaurants popular on Thanksgiving


About 30 million Americans will incorporate restaurants in their Thanksgiving celebration this year, according to a survey from the National Restaurant Association survey released Tuesday.

About 14 million Americans are expected to visit a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal this year, and an additional 16 million will use restaurant takeout to supplement the feast, the NRA said.

EARLIER: Restaurants tout takeout for the holidays

32 million also will dine out while shopping on Black Friday, the big retail day that follows Thanksgiving, according to the survey.

“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,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s research and knowledge group, said in a statement. About 63 percent of surveyed consumers cited that as a reason.

“In addition, 20 percent of adults say they plan to go shopping on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and, of those, nearly seven out of 10 plan to visit a restaurant while on their shopping trip,” Riehle said.

Other reasons surveyed consumers cited for using restaurants in their Thanksgiving meal were: travel, 22 percent; the preference to go to restaurants on special occasions, 15 percent; somebody else is hosting and they prefer to dine out, 15 percent; and not having enough space to host, 12 percent.

Overall, 55 percent of American adults said they plan to eat a meal at their own home this Thanksgiving, 46 percent said they plan to eat a meal at someone else’s home, 6 percent plan to dine at a restaurant, and 3 percent don’t plan to have a special meal.

And among the true pilgrims in the survey this year: one in 10 plans to have more than one Thanksgiving meal.

The NRA surveyed 1,011 American adults Nov. 10-14. Projections for the number of Americans expected to dine out are based on the NRA’s economic analysis and research of the past 20 years.

This was the first year the NRA asked these questions about Thanksgiving.

“Unfortunately, we don't have comparable historical stats,” Annika Stennson, director of media relations at the NRA, said. “This was a single survey rather than a recurring one, so while we have surveyed for Thanksgiving habits several years ago, those numbers are different because the questions were different.”

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