December 07, 2022

Consumers Plan to Let Restaurants Do the Cooking During the Holidays

New data shows 3 in 4 consumers intend to go out to eat or order takeout during the festive season
Washington, D.C.  – With just a few weeks left in the year and the season of celebration in full swing, the National Restaurant Association finds that 77% of consumers will cope with holiday demands by letting restaurants do some of their cooking during the coming weeks. 

According to a new survey, 57% of consumers plan to go out to eat at a restaurant, while 50% plan to order takeout or delivery for a gathering at home during the holidays. One in four consumers plan to do both. When asked about why they plan to include restaurant meals in their holiday plans:
  • 88% said dining out or ordering a meal from a restaurant is a good way to support businesses in their community during the holidays.
  • 82% said letting restaurants do the cooking is easy and reduces their stress.
  • 78% said a restaurant gives them an opportunity to socialize with family and/or friends and is a better use of their time than cooking and cleaning up. 

“During the holidays—maybe more than any other time of the year—we work to make meaningful connections with people in our lives. The restaurants in our communities provide the space and the comfort to do that while sharing a meal,” said Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The holiday season is important to restaurant operators and employees who work hard to make it special. When you choose restaurants, you get the flavors you crave without grocery shopping and preparation. You get familiar holiday dishes, without the dishes to wash. You get beloved traditions, without all the preparations. When you let restaurants do the cooking, restaurants let you take a holiday from the holidays.”

When choosing the restaurant, convenience and loyalty were top of mind for most consumers. 
  • A restaurant close to home was the top pick for 94% of consumers going out to eat and 91% planning to order out. 
  • 81% of diners plan to dine in a restaurant they’ve often visited during the holidays, while 79% of diners will order out from one. 

Inflation is impacting consumer decision-making during the holidays, making them more interested in restaurants where they can find a deal or specials.
  • 89% of consumers who plan to dine in a restaurant and the same number who plan to order out will consider deals or specials to pick the restaurant. 
  • 60% of customers eating out and 66% of those planning takeout are making their choices based on marketing emails from restaurants. Even fewer are being swayed by social media—just 58% of people planning to eat out and 65% of those planning delivery or takeout say social media marketing will be a determining factor in their choice of restaurant. 

The National Restaurant Association conducted the online survey of 1,002 adults Nov. 18-20, 2022, asking questions about their plans to use restaurants during the holiday season. 

For more information about the menu trends that are heating up going into the new year, check out the Association’s What’s Hot 2023 Culinary Forecast.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.