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posted: 11/20/2013 9:40 AM

15 million Americans will eat Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, survey finds

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Daily Herald News Services

New research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) found that 33 million Americans will rely on restaurants for all or parts of their Thanksgiving meals this year. In addition, 46 million Americans are expected to dine out while shopping on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday.

"Our research shows that many of today's consumers will leverage the convenience of restaurant meals for the Thanksgiving holiday, allowing them more time to spend with friends and family rather than cooking and cleaning up," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Washington-based National Restaurant Association. "In addition, more consumers will visit restaurants during post-Thanksgiving shopping trips, providing a boost to restaurants located in or near shopping malls and centers."

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The associations's consumer survey found that 15 million Americans plan to visit a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal this year, an additional 14 million plan to order parts of their Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant to be eaten at their home or someone else's home, and 4 million plan to order a full takeout Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant.

The survey also asked consumers whether they plan to visit a restaurant while shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Of the respondents who said they plan to go out shopping on Thanksgiving Day or evening this year, 39 percent said they expect that they will visit a restaurant while doing so. Of the respondents who said they plan to go out shopping on Black Friday, 60 percent said they expect that they will visit a restaurant. Overall, 46 million shoppers are expected to dine out on Nov. 28 and 29 this year.

The survey of 1,004 American adults was conducted on November 14-17, 2013, by ORC International on behalf of the National Restaurant Association, and asked respondents about their dining plans for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Projections for the number of Americans who will visit restaurants or order takeout are based on economic analysis and original NRA research.

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