Restaurant operators across the industry say delivery and catering sales are on the rise as more consumers either supplement or substitute those prepared foods to their meals, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Industry report.

And, as July 4 approaches, the holiday could give restaurant customers another reason to “dine out at home” when they celebrate with friends and loved ones.

The reason?

“More restaurants in general are now open on holidays, and also have enhanced their marketing of away-from-home meal solutions,” says Association Senior Vice President of Research, Hudson Riehle. “Furthermore, three in four consumers tell us that dining out with family and friends is a better use of their leisure time than cooking and cleaning up.”

This year’s report revealed that, 43 percent of adults are more likely now than they were two years ago to incorporate restaurant-prepared items ‑‑ such as a main dish, side or dessert – into their home-cooked meals. Among millennials, that number increased to 58 percent.

To put a finer point on it, a majority of operators across all segments say their delivery sales are higher now than they were two years ago and fewer than one in 10 say their percentage of delivery sales declined.

In regards to catering, most full-service operators, and three in four fast-casual restaurants say their restaurants offer customers a catering option. Among those who do, half say their catering sales rose over the last two years, and fewer than one in 10 reported a decline in their catering sales.

To learn more about our 2019 State of the Industry research, download the full report