Easter has come and gone, and as the 4th biggest holiday for restaurants, so has a boat load of cash. While the actual statistics for Easter 2012 won’t be available for a few weeks, we can guess how well we did this year based on a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association a days prior to the holiday.
According the the poll, some 33 million Americans were estimated to have dined out this holiday. Fifty one percent of those 33 million (thats 16830000 people!) were expected to eat a holiday themed buffet. The other 49% of holiday diners were divided between spiral cut hams, pastries, and eggs in that order respectively. Lamb, while a traditional Eater meal with historic and religious origins (see our post about traditional meals here), only made 7% of what diners were looking for.
Though diners were expected to arrive at restaurant buffets in hordes, which restaurants they chose was another story. A whopping 48% said they would be going to old and trusty favorites, regardless of Easter specials or not. Sixteen percent were on the look out for Easter specials and themed menus (This is where those marketing bucks come in handy! Sixteen percent more diners is 16% more money on top of your regular crowd!) and 13% of folks were looking for a restaurant entirely new to them.
Also of note, 18% of those 33 million diners said they would be looking for places that had activities and menu options for their children. Restaurants with egg hunts and Eater themed coloring books may have scored a few extra dollars this last Sunday.