WASHINGTON – On Halloween night, 20 percent of Americans polled said they plan to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant while trick-or-treaters come to their homes, according to recent National Restaurant Association research. Among younger adults (age 18-34) and families with children, that figure rises to 33 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

Sixteen percent of adults will go out to a restaurant or bar to celebrate Halloween during the weekend or on Oct. 31. Younger adults (age 18-34) are more likely to do so than older adults.

“While not a traditional holiday for dining out, Halloween is clearly an occasion where restaurants play a major role in celebrations, according to our new research,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association. “One-fifth of consumers say they plan to use restaurant takeout or delivery on Oct. 31, signaling to restaurant operators that Halloween specials and promotions around off-premise options might be a good idea.”

Halloween falls on a Monday this year – the least popular day of the week to dine out, which may give restaurants a welcome sales boost in this continued challenging economic environment, Riehle added.

The NRA surveyed 1,116 American adults from Oct. 20-23 about their plans around Halloween 2011. Survey highlights include:

  • Thirty-two percent said they will seek out an establishment with happy hour or other pricing specials.
  • Twenty-two percent will select a restaurant that encourages Halloween costumes or competitions.
  • Sixteen percent prefer locations with activities for families and children.
  • Fifteen percent will choose a restaurant or bar located near activities, such as Halloween parties, parades or haunted houses.
  • Seven percent said a location with Halloween-themed food and drink items and decorations is their top choice.