Industry News | November 16, 2016 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Which Cities Dine Out On Thanksgiving?

On Thanksgiving Day, Waze found a consistent decrease in travel to restaurants nationwide. Thinkstock
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Waze, the Google-owned traffic app, released research on consumer eating habits around Thanksgiving. By comparing the average number of navigations for at-home and away-from home dining around to holidays in the top 20 U.S. cities to the rest of November and December of 2015’s navigations, Waze was able to predict in which cities diners are more likely to eat out over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The data showed that grocery shopping peaked on Thanksgiving Eve, indicating more at-home dining, but some cities saw larger grocery spikes than others. Seattle was named as the city with the highest proportion of drives to supermarkets on Thanksgiving Eve, but Dallas saw the biggest increase in supermarket-bound traffic at a 62 percent increase over other days. Las Vegas, however, saw the smallest increase in grocery shopping traffic at only 18 percent.

On Thanksgiving Day, Waze found a consistent decrease in travel to restaurants nationwide, but in some cities, the drop was not as large as expected, suggesting that diners in these cities are less likely to eat Thanksgiving meals at home.

Miami saw the smallest decrease in drives to restaurants at just 16 percent, which is 2.5 times smaller than the national average. Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; and Los Angeles were also listed as cities with smaller decreases than the average. Sacramento, California; Hartford, Connecticut; and Boston, however, saw the greatest decreases in travel to restaurants, with Sacramento seeing a 58 percent decrease.

On Black Friday, restaurant-bound traffic increased over averages for the time period in all cities, with San Francisco, New Jersey, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle all seeing the biggest increases.

To see how other cities stack up for holiday dining, see the study at The Compass.

By Peggy Carouthers