New research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) shows that more than one-quarter of American adults will celebrate Mother’s Day by dining out, and nearly one in 10 will rely on restaurant takeout or delivery for their special Mother’s Day meal. Overall, the NRA projects that 80 million American adults will enjoy restaurant meals on May 12, 2013.

“Restaurants continue to play an important role in holiday celebrations, and Mother’s Day remains the most popular holiday on which to dine out,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the NRA.

“Restaurant takeout and delivery is also becoming an increasingly popular option for holiday meals, as it also is for many Americans’ everyday meal choices,” he adds. “Eight in 10 consumers say going to restaurants is a better use of leisure time than cooking and cleaning up, and that is especially true on special occasions. ”

The NRA’s new research shows that 7 percent of adults plan to order restaurant takeout or delivery for their special Mother’s Day meal this year, with younger consumers and consumers with young children in their household the most likely to do so.

Ten percent of 18–34-year-olds and 14 percent of 35–44-year-olds say they will order takeout or delivery on May 12, and so do 11 percent of households with children under 13.

Dinner remains the most popular meal for which to dine out on Mother’s Day, with 55 percent of those who plan to dine out on Mother’s Day selecting the evening meal period. 

Thirty-four percent celebrate mom at lunch, 30 percent at brunch, and 12 percent at breakfast. Twenty-three percent plan to have more than one restaurant meal on May 12.

The NRA also surveyed moms about which type of restaurant they would most like to visit for their special Mother’s Day meal. Steak, seafood, or barbeque was the most popular category at about one-third (34 percent), followed by American cuisine at about one-quarter (24 percent), ethnic cuisine, and buffets, both at about one in five (21 and 19 percent, respectively).

Among ethnic cuisines, Italian was the most preferred, followed by Mexican and Asian.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,000 American adults April 25–28 about their plans for Mother’s Day 2013.

The estimate of 80 million Americans dining out or ordering restaurant takeout or delivery this Mother’s Day is based on economic analysis and projections, as well as research conducted by the NRA over the last two decades. 

Consumer Trends, News, Outside Insights