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30 million Americans to use restaurants for Thanksgiving dinner

November 16, 2011 | 11:38 am

So much for battling supermarket crowds and cleaning a gravy-drenched kitchen –- 30 million Americans will rely on restaurants for their Thanksgiving meals.

The National Restaurant Assn. says that 14 million people will eat their turkey dinner at a restaurant while 16 million will get takeout for all or part of their feast.

Six in 10 said that eating out is just more convenient. Local restaurants such as Campanile and even chains such as Boston Market will offer dine-in and to-go Thanksgiving dinners.

Other rationales for using restaurant-cooked food: Many diners will be traveling without access to kitchens, some don’t have the space to host a home-cooked meal, others aren’t good cooks or don’t have time to prepare a self-made feast while several just prefer the taste of restaurant food.

But dinner-table Turkey Day festivities are still the norm, with 55% of Americans eating a meal in their own homes and 46% eating at someone else’s. Still, with the cost of Thanksgiving meal ingredients on the rise, outside eateries will increasingly play into the holiday.

And on Black Friday, 32 million Americans will duck into a restaurant for a respite from frantic shoppers.


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Price of Thanksgiving dinner up 13%, biggest jump in two decades

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Matthew Mead / Associated Press