Skip navigation
Restaurant spending on Thanksgiving, Black Friday rises 6.3% Creatas Images/Creatas/Thinkstock

Restaurant spending on Thanksgiving, Black Friday rises 6.3%

Quick-service restaurants see biggest sales increase, says First Data analysis

Consumers spent 6.3 percent more in restaurants on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year than they did during those two days last year as overall retail sales surged, according to payments technology company First Data.

Analyzing credit-card data from 1.3 million merchants — 1.1 million brick-and-mortar and 200,000 e-commerce — First Data saw overall spending grow by 11.9 percent for the two days compared to Thanksgiving and Black Friday last year, on top of a 7.8 percent year-over-year increase on those days in 2016.

Although 29 percent of that spending was via e-commerce, compared to 25 percent in 2016, restaurants, particularly quick-service ones, still enjoyed a sales boost, possibly as customers took a break from shopping to refuel.

“We found restaurants definitely benefited from the overall increase in consumer spending over the holiday weekend,” said Glenn Fodor, senior vice president and head of information and analytics at First Data. “When shoppers needed a quick bite to eat between shopping trips, quick-service restaurants and casual dining spots were the go-to destinations, with $67 out of every $100 spent in restaurants getting split across these two dining types.”

First Data found that 57 percent of the growth over the two days last year went to quick-service restaurants, which captured 40 percent of overall restaurant spending at an average check of $10.90.

Casual dining saw 17 percent of growth and 27 percent of overall spending, with an average ticket of $50.65.

Family-dining restaurants got 12 percent of the growth and 11 percent of spending at a check average of $29.18, and fast-casual chains got 10 percent of the growth and 16 percent of the total with average checks of $20.82.

Upscale dining accounted for 5 percent of total sales on the two days, gaining 4 percent of the growth with average checks of $132.49.

Nov. 29, 2017 update: This story has been updated with a comment from Glenn Fodor, senior vice president and head of information and analytics for First Data.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.