Consumers are choosing restaurants this holiday season, according to a National Restaurant Association survey of 1,010 adults nationwide conducted November 10-12, 2023. The results show that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of adults plan to eat out during the next several weeks and nearly half (48 percent) plan to order takeout or delivery.

“Our research confirms that restaurants serve a practical need during the holiday season—giving guests the gift of time so they can enjoy the warmth of good company with family and friends,” says Michelle Korsmo, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. “The data also reveal that takeout and delivery remain critical components of the guest experience for every age group. From Gen-Z to Baby Boomers, restaurants have options to meet every need and taste preference, in this season and throughout the year.”

Sixty-six percent of those choosing to order in from a restaurant will order the entire meal from a restaurant, while many are trusting restaurants with the main course (89 percent), sides (86 percent), appetizers (74 percent) and desserts (63 percent) for their meal.

Culinary professionals from across the country have found that consumers want to try new foods, but in a way that’s recognizable, comforting and communal – which lends itself well to the holiday season. For millennials planning to order out this holiday season, the majority (91 percent) said they were most likely to purchase the main course from a restaurant.

Comparing generations, 82 percent of millennials say that takeout or delivery options are important when choosing a restaurant, compared to a little more than half (53 percent) of baby boomers. Millennials are the most likely to use a restaurant over the holidays to avoid grocery shopping during busy times (75 percent), more than Gen Z (65 percent) and baby boomers (57 percent). Overall, baby boomers are the least likely to let restaurants do their cooking (72 percent) over the holidays whereas Gen Z (86 percent) are the most likely to go out or order in.