Traditional Thanksgiving vs. Dining Out

Traditional at-home dinner, or dine out. What will most people do this year?

By Nischelle Turner and Julie Brayton
|  Thursday, Nov 17, 2011  |  Updated 6:39 PM PDT
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Traditional at Home, or Dining out.  What will most people do this year?

Nischelle Turner, Dennis Lahti

Traditional at Home, or Dining out. What will most people do this year?

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It's a decision millions of Americans need to make every year. Have a traditional Thanksgiving feast at home, or save the hassle of cooking and cleanup, and go eat out? Or perhaps a combination of the two.

New numbers say that 30 million Americans will eat out on Thanksgiving this year.

Fourteen million people are expected to eat their holiday dinner at restaurants, while 16 million will get takeout for all or part of their feast, according to the National Restaurant Association.

"It is our busiest day of the year," Karen Ross of Burbank's Tally Rand Restaurant said. "We are roasting turkey around the clock."

They're making 15 percent more food to serve than they did last year, according to Tally Rand.

"By the time Thursday rolls around we're going to have about 1,400 pounds of cooked turkey, 700 pounds of mashed potatoes," Ross said. "We're going to peel those potatoes by hand, every single one of them. We've got 1,000 slices of pie."

But 55 percent of Americans are expected to dine on their turkey at home.

"I do traditional, plus," said Joseph Zarukian. "We have both."

 "I'm making turkey and stuffing and fresh pumpkin pie and green bean casserole and sweet potatoes, all the regular stuff," Elyce Lindman said.

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