33 Million Americans Will Break Thanksgiving Tradition

More than 10 percent of the U.S. population is projected to skip a longstanding Thanksgiving practice this year. Why are they doing it?

33 Million Americans Will Break Thanksgiving Tradition Photo (cc) by SanFranAnnie

More than 10 percent of the U.S. population is projected to skip a completely home-cooked Thanksgiving meal this year.

Instead, these 33 million Americans will turn to restaurants for at least part of their Thanksgiving meal, according to newly released data from the National Restaurant Association.

The trade group reports of the 33 million tradition-breaking Americans:

  • 15 million plan to visit a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal.
  • 14 million plan to order parts of their Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant to be eaten at their home or someone else’s home.
  • 4 million plan to order a full takeout Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant.

Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association, cites “the convenience of restaurant meals for the Thanksgiving holiday,” as they allow “more time to spend with friends and family rather than cooking and cleaning up.”

CBS MoneyWatch reports similarly of the trend away from home cooking. Christopher Ciavarra, senior vice president of marketing at Cracker Barrel, tells the publication:

“More and more people want to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal without the hassle of cooking, so we expect that trend to continue.

Over the past decade, Cracker Barrel has seen a 72 percent increase in Thanksgiving customers, who include “families, singles, travelers and groups of friends from all walks of life,” Ciavarra said.

GrubHub, a service that enables people to order food delivery online from local restaurants, tells CBS that more people are placing orders on Thanksgiving morning:

“By looking at the foods we see spike on Thanksgiving, we’re noticing that people are ordering in to eliminate one meal from their cooking schedule — breakfast.”

How much of your Thanksgiving meal will be home-cooked this year? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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