Consumers Choosing To Eat Out This Holiday Season

People are eager to spend time with family and friends instead of cooking.

December 12, 2023

Over the next several weeks, two-thirds of adults plan to eat out (63%) and half plan to order takeout or delivery (48%), according to a new survey from the National Restaurant Association.

Last year’s survey revealed that 77% of consumers decided to eat out for the holiday season, showing a decrease in the number of consumers choosing to let restaurants do the cooking this year.

“Our research confirms that restaurants serve a practical need during the holiday season—giving guests the gift of time so they can enjoy the warmth of good company with family and friends,” said Michelle Korsmo, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

Sixty-six percent of those choosing to order in from a restaurant will order the entire meal from a restaurant, while many are trusting restaurants with the main course (89%), sides (86%) or appetizers (74%) for their meal. Nearly two in three (63%) will purchase desserts from a restaurant.

The survey also found that why and how consumers choose where to eat this season also differs by generation. Millennials are the most likely to use a restaurant over the holidays to avoid shopping during busy times (75%), beating out Gen Z (65%).

Overall, Baby Boomers are the least likely to let restaurants do their cooking (72%) over the holidays whereas Gen Z (86%) are the most likely to go out or order in.

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