The National Restaurant Association  estimates 48 million Americans will order takeout or delivery food from a restaurant while watching the professional football championship game on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.
In addition, 12 million are expected to visit a restaurant or bar to watch the big game. New National Restaurant Association research also shows that salsa/dips/spreads, chicken wings, and pizza are considered must-have foods on game day.
"Sporting events and great food go hand in hand, so it is no surprise that millions of Americans will incorporate restaurants into their plans for watching the professional football championship game this year," says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association.
"When it comes to favorite game-watching foods, dips, chicken wings and pizza top the list. But, about two out of five individuals who plan to watch the big game say that healthful food items are a must on their table that day."
The Association's research shows that 31 percent of individuals who plan to watch the big game at their own home or someone else's home expect to order restaurant takeout or delivery.
Younger adults (18 to 34 years old) and individuals with children are more likely to order restaurant food for game day gatherings, at 52 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
In addition, individuals on the West Coast are more likely to watch the big game at a restaurant or bar, at 9 percent compared with 4 percent on the East Coast, likely because of the earlier kick-off time in the Pacific time zone.
When it comes to food for the big game on Feb. 5, 69 percent of survey respondents said that salsa, dips, or spreads are must-haves.
Sixty-three percent said chicken wings are must-haves, 61 percent said pizza, 50 percent said desserts, and 49 percent said subs/sandwiches. In addition, 42 percent said that healthful food items are a must on their game day table.
The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,014 American adults from Jan. 19-22 about their dining plans for the professional football championship game on Feb. 5, 2012. Projections are based on economic analysis and research conducted by the National Restaurant Association.
For more restaurant industry research and information, visit www.restaurant.org .
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org  and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants , Facebook  and YouTube .