15 Million Expected to Dine Out for Thanksgiving

In 2014,åÊ15 million people were expected to eat their Thanksgiving Day meals in restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. The NRA also reportedåÊ33 million Americans relied on restaurants for some or all of their Thanksgiving meals in 2013. Take these recent findings into consideration when promoting restaurants for the holiday.

A consumer survey found that 15 million Americans planned to eat at a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal. An additional 14 million planned to order parts of their Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant to eat at home or someone else‰Ûªs home, and 4 million planned to order a full takeout Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant, according to www​.restaurant​.org.

Julie Carpinelli, manager of the Tri-​County Restaurant Association in Ohio, said diners who opt to eat out on special holidays have told her it‰Ûªs because their families are smaller than they used to be, or people are out of town, Christina McCune wrote in The Canton Repository's "15 million people expected eat Thanksgiving meal at restaurant."

"It‰Ûªs kind of nice to be around more people in a restaurant,‰Û she said. ‰ÛÏIt brings up their spirits a little when they‰Ûªre missing their relatives."

Ashley Johnson, banquet manager at Skyland Pines in Canton, Ohio, has a different take on the Thanksgiving dining crowds. ‰ÛÏI think they just want an opportunity to be with their families and not have to worry about cooking and having all the cleanup,‰Û she said.

Dan Bryant, a restaurant owner, said his restaurant specializes in groups, and it‰Ûªs not uncommon to see large family groups eating out on Thanksgiving.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs been one of our biggest days every year,‰Û he said. "It‰Ûªs become a tradition and they see a lot of the same customers each year. Staff members volunteer to work that day."

There is a significant market out there for your local restaurants to bank on for Turkey Day dining. AudienceSCAN found 11% of adults have eaten Thanksgiving lunch or dinner at a restaurant. Make sure your ads are seen by this audience. They are metropolitan (41%) and 57% are men. 17.5% of Thanksgiving Diners plan to attend their neighborhood Restaurant Weeks, so clue them in on turkey delights for the restaurants they're already in! 40% are active on Twitter, so gobble up some Twitter ads too. In the past year, 74% of Thanksgiving Diners took action after getting ads/​coupons in their mailboxes. And in the past month, 36% took action after seeing ads in their newspapers (print, online, mobile or tablet). Thanksgiving Diners say they learn about events (like what restaurants are open and serving special Thanksgiving menus) from TV (25%).

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.