Order Up: Thanksgiving Data Points to Restaurants in 2022

Restaurants are ready, with over 1,900 new Thanksgiving items, plus "Drinksgiving" specials, and the Monday after restaurant rush.

14 days ago   •   3 min read

By Megan Palmer

With reports that inflation is hiking prices on turkey and other key holiday ingredients, Thanksgiving dinner may just be more affordable at a restaurant than at home this year. According to an analysis of SpotOn client data through November 18, 2022, restaurants have been preparing for the holidays with over 1,900 items for Thanksgiving added to restaurant menus, including 80 items tagged with the name "Thanksgiving." A majority of items were added between October 23 - 29 and include Thanksgiving Meal Kits from Looking Glass Hospitality, Thanksgiving Dessert Boards and Cookie Decorating Kits from M. Streeting Baking Co. and even a Thanksgiving Leftovers Kit from Lucius Q.

In the last 30 days alone, SpotOn saw an uptick in traditional Thanksgiving day sides and desserts added to restaurant menus, including 652 "sweet potato" items, 421 "mashed potato" items, 272 "yam" items, 275 "pumpkin pie" items, 164 "pecan pie" items, 83 "stuffing" items, 44 "cranberry sauce" items and 24 "green bean casserole" items.

The night before Thanksgiving, also known as “Drinksgiving,” is typically one of the busiest bar nights of the year as consumers kick off the start of the holiday weekend. Last year, SpotOn reported its bar and brewery clients saw a 50% increase in sales on “Drinksgiving” vs. the previous Wednesday. Not surprisingly, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was also the busiest Wednesday of 2021 for SpotOn's pizza POS system clients.

And after the holiday weekend is over, it seems diners are in the mood for a particular cuisine type. Last year, Japanese, Sushi, and Seafood restaurants saw an 18% uptick in business on the Monday after Thanksgiving, welcoming in consumers looking for a break from leftovers.

As for what’s in store for the rest of the holidays:

  • Holiday menu items, in general, have been on the rise, with over 500 "Holiday’"menu items added in the last 90 days, with the largest amount of items added the week of October 2nd. Some of the highlights include a Herbivore Holiday Meal from Pondichieri in Houston, Holiday BBQ Plate from Viewhouse with various Colorado locations, and Holiday Wellington from Matthew Kenney’s Veg’d in Los Angeles.
  • SpotOn also saw an additional 405 "Christmas" menu items, with the largest spike added at the beginning of October, including The Christmas Mimosas at Famous Toastery, a "take n bake" Christmas Ham from Three Blondes Brewing, and Christmas Chile at ABQ Burrito & Burger.
  • As for the season’s favorite flavors, SpotOn found restaurants added: 470 "hot chocolate" and 86 "hot cocoa" items, 410 "peppermint" items, 148 "Gingerbread" items, 21 "eggnog" items,  39 "candy cane" items, and 22 "mulled wine" items so far.
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