CHICAGO – At least 14 percent of adults, or 33 million Americans, will dine out for their Easter meal and ham will be one of their most sought after foods, according to the National Restaurant Association.

More than half of consumers who dine out on Easter said they want ham for their meal, and 51 percent will be looking for a buffet. Another 37 percent said they must have pastries, while 27 percent said eggs are a must-have food item for Easter. Only 7 percent of respondents favored lamb for Easter, NRA reported.

Lunch was the chosen day-part for 46 percent of respondents who dine out on Easter Sunday, while 44 percent celebrate Easter dinner at a restaurant. Twenty-nine percent of individuals will be having brunch at a restaurant on Easter Sunday, while 21 percent said they are going out for breakfast. Seventeen percent of respondents said they plan to have more than one meal at a restaurant on Easter Sunday.

What are diners looking for when choosing a restaurant on Easter Sunday? In the NRA survey, 48 percent of respondents said they are most likely to choose their favorite restaurant, regardless of Easter specials, for their holiday meal. Sixteen percent of respondents said they would choose a restaurant with holiday specials or menu items, while 13 percent said they would choose a restaurant that they haven’t been to before. One out of five diners said food and activities for children were the deciding factor, while 14 percent said they would likely choose a restaurant with Easter-related activities for kids, such as egg painting or an Easter egg hunt.

The NRA surveyed 1,000 American adults about Easter dining in 2011. The association's estimate of 33 million Americans dining out this Easter is based on economic analysis and projections, as well as research conducted over the last two decades.