According to Technomic, nearly three out of 10 Americans plan to sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner this year that includes at least one prepared ready-to-eat dish from a retailer, restaurant or caterer, according to a recent survey.
Over the past three years, the proportion of consumers telling Technomic that they would turn to a foodservice source for part of their Thanksgiving dinner has risen, from 23 percent in 2011 to 29 percent in 2013.
In addition to those incorporating meat, sides or desserts from a retailer, restaurant or caterer into a home meal, 6 percent of those polled in all three years reported that they were planning to share Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant.
“Technomic research consistently shows that consumers view restaurant meals as a way to connect with family and friends,” says Darren Tristano, executive v.p. at Technomic. “Using prepared foods for holiday meals at homes has the same effect; it gets hosts out of the kitchen sooner so they can really enjoy time with their guests.”
Many restaurants open on Thanksgiving opt to pull out all the stops. ABC News rounded up some luxe examples, including a $95 three-course dinner at Restaurant Marc Forgione in NYC that includes smoked lobster bisque with foie gras butter, roast organic turkey breast with dark meat ballotine and cranberry sauce with mint and pink peppercorns. Upping the ante at $158 a head, Restaurant Daniel will serve sunchoke veloute with black trumpet and hazelnut, organic heritage turkey with giblet stuffing and la citrouille with pecan praline, burnt meringue and cassis sorbet.
It’s probably no surprise that three NYC restaurants (Hard Rock Café, Junior’s Restaurant and Balthazar) rank among the top 10 most popular for Thanksgiving meals, but apparently a lot of people in Las Vegas head to restaurants on the holiday as well, according to the Las Vegas Sun: Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan (#1), Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace (#4) and Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas (#7).
The list reflects Foursquare data from more than 4.5 billion location check-ins on Thanksgiving last year.