2023 inKind Holiday Dining Trends:

inKind users reveal their plans for a festive holiday season.

The holiday season is here, illuminated by twinkling lights, filled with joyful carols, and abundant in celebratory gatherings with friends, family, and loved ones. Embracing this festive spirit, we reached out to over 5,000 inKind app users to discover their holiday plans and celebrations. Let's dive into what we unwrapped.
Dining out is a cherished tradition.
Despite continued concerns about inflation, our findings from the 2023 inKind Holiday Dining Survey indicate that consumers are still planning on making the most of the holiday season. 75% of foodies plan on dining three times or more in December. After all, the holidays are a time of celebration, and what's a celebration without delectable dishes and merry-making with friends.
"Restaurants make my season special by providing the backdrop for me to celebrate with my nearest and dearest."
An impressive 86% of inKind users look forward to restaurant visits as a highlight of their celebrations. 53% are dining out during the holidays to try new spots while 45% of respondents are looking to "support their go-to restaurants" or "support independent businesses." Moreover, dining out during the holidays is about more than just a meal; restaurants often offer a reprieve from the busy tasks of cooking and cleaning, allowing 26% of inKind users to immerse themselves in the season's joy.

"Restaurants create an atmosphere for family and friends to celebrate the holidays without stress, allowing us to cherish the time together!"
For many inKind app users, diners are making their top restaurant lists and making their selections based on menu, ambiance and service. And restaurants are not skimping out—many are donning their holiday best, becoming enchanting escapes for the busy.

This heightened holiday atmosphere is reflected in the dining choices of our respondents. In exploring dining preferences during the holiday season, we uncovered that a remarkable 49% of participants favor returning to their beloved, tried-and-true restaurants. Not far behind, 42% express a preference for celebrating at fine dining venues.
inKind 2023 Holiday Survey
A deeper dive into the data reveals interesting patterns among those who favor fine dining establishments. This group shows a propensity to indulge more extensively in their dining experiences. They are 50% more likely to invest over $500 in a single meal and 16% more inclined to dine out six or more times during the holiday period. Contrary to the common trend of staying in on major holidays, these diners are more open to celebrating these occasions at restaurants. For instance, nearly 30% of this demographic is planning to ring in New Year's Eve with a special meal out, embracing the festive spirit in a more upscale setting.

Our findings also paint a picture of regional dining trends during the holidays. In the bustling hearts of cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC, diners are ready to embrace the holiday cheer with gusto, planning to spend upwards of $500 on dining out. These city-goers are excited to explore a myriad of restaurants, adding a spark of culinary adventure to their holiday celebrations, including dining out on major holidays. This highlights how the holiday spirit influences dining choices differently across various regions.
While dining out during the holiday season holds a special appeal due to its festive ambiance and culinary delights, our survey indicates a notable preference for home celebrations. Only about 30% of respondents fancy the idea of dining at a restaurant on the actual day of a holiday they celebrate. It seems the homely charm of personal spaces, or the joy of being with loved ones, is the preferred backdrop for major holiday celebrations. Yet, this is not to say that restaurants don't have a starring role in these festivities. In fact, over 75% of our respondents are planning to bring the restaurant experience home, either through catering a meal or opting for takeout.

We understand the allure of this trend. The holidays are a time for creating memories and cherishing moments with loved ones, not getting overwhelmed by the logistics of cooking or vying for reservations. The convenience of restaurant-quality meals, enjoyed in the comfort of one's home, strikes a delightful balance. It's a blend of convenience, quality, and comfort, ensuring that the festive spirit shines bright, both in public dining spaces and within the cozy confines of home.
"When the holidays roll around, I'm usually running on empty, feeling pretty wiped out. So, to take the stress off and really enjoy the festive season, we get caterers to work their magic. They turn our home into a spot for a fabulous festive feast, making everything merry and bright without the hassle of planning and going out."
And for those still searching for the ideal holiday gift, consider the joy of a shared dining experience. According to our survey, 67% of respondents favored gift cards redeemable at multiple restaurants. Consider gifting a memorable meal from a selection of over 1,200+ restaurants in the inKind network – a gift for all tastes. Give the gift of inKind at

Other popular food-related holiday gifts were in-restaurant menu experiences. Think farm-to-table dinners, tasting menus, or chef-led cooking classes. And when in doubt, give a bottle of your favorite thing to sip. Our survey results confirmed that a nice bottle of wine or spirits as a timeless standby.

As we conclude our exploration of holiday dining trends and gift suggestions, it's evident that this season is about more than just traditional festivities. It's a time for culinary exploration, thoughtful gifting, and creating lasting memories with those who matter most.

Whether your plans include dining in the comfort of your home, experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of a restaurant, or selecting the perfect culinary gift, the essence of the holidays is in the joy and connections we share. This season, we encourage you to embrace these moments of togetherness and the diverse ways in which we can celebrate.
Happy Holidays to all, and may your plates and hearts be full!
Cheers to a season of joy, celebration, and culinary delights.