Roughly one in 10 adults plan to eat a Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant this year, according to a new survey from the National Restaurant Association. Furthermore, 31% of these adults say the restaurant they plan to dine in during the holiday is one they traditionally go to on Thanksgiving. Read on for six approaches operators are taking to secure that business as this year’s feast nears.
1. 'Tis the season for a burger
Red Robin is tapping into the popularity of Friendsgiving and catering to time-strapped celebrants with its latest offer: a 10% discount on its new Gourmet Turkey Burger Bar from Nov. 20-24. The build-your-own-burger bar, which is designed for off-premise, comes with at least 10 individually wrapped turkey burgers and a host of toppings Friendsgiving-goers can use to add their own flair. The chain’s loyalty program members will also receive a free burger with every Gourmet Burger Bar purchase.
2. Hold those patties
White Castle has updated its annual Thanksgiving special with the addition of a Cheddar and Apple Butter slider and a revamped version of its Bistro turkey slider. And like every year, the chain is promoting its slider stuffing recipe to the public. Food aside, the chain added a new perk to its holiday repertoire—the Crave Caddy, an insulated bag designed to hold a Crave Case of 30 sliders and keep the bite-sized patties warm for Thanksgiving dinner. While supplies last, patrons will receive a free Crave Caddy with every Crave Case order made online or through the chain’s mobile app.
3. Drinks on Friendsgiving
Houlihan’s is putting a twist on Friendsgiving with its first Drinksgiving celebration. From 4 p.m. to close on Wednesday and from open to close on Black Friday, the chain will offer $2 domestic draft beers, $3 select wines and $5 Long Island Iced Tea pitchers.
4. Get away from tech
Although the holiday season is coined as “the most wonderful time of the year,” it still tends to stir up plenty of commotion. KFC has taken matters into its own hands by creating a stress-relieving Internet Escape Pod to shield consumers from technology during Cyber Monday. The tent-like dome is selling for $10,000 and can be ordered on the chain’s website. Despite currently being in limited supply, a second collection will hit the brand’s e-commerce stores this December.
5. Show mom some love
Hawaii-based Roy’s offers a traditional three-course Thanksgiving menu featuring turkey, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes and more for $39.95, as well as a prix fixe menu ranging between $49 and $59. But what makes it stand out? The Pacific Rim-inspired eatery is coining the meal as Momsgiving, aiming to give Mom and everyone else a relaxing, enjoyable holiday, per its flyer. In a bid for return traffic, each party will also receive a $20 gift card to use toward a future visit.
6. It's all about the bargain
The research team at Bob Evans noted that consumers, on average, will spend nearly $200 and 15 hours this year preparing an eight-person Thanksgiving meal from scratch. As a remedy, the chain is offering its Thanksgiving Farmhouse Feast, which serves eight people for $109.99. The meal includes slow-roasted turkey and hickory-smoked ham, sides, rolls, specialty bread and two pies.