Xmas Breakfast Shuffle: Waffle House, IHOP, Denny's Track Most Foot Traffic



All-day breakfast chains dominated Christmas Day fast-casual dining, with IHOP, Waffle House and Denny’s sweeping the lead, according to a new report from foot traffic analytics firm

Waffle House saw 25.1% of the nationwide visit share on Christmas Day, IHOP saw 24.6% and Denny’s saw 20.7%, per the report. IHOP was the top dining destination in 21 states, including New York, Texas and Florida. Denny’s and Waffle House were the top destinations in 11 states each.

All together the three breakfast-focused eateries accounted for 70.4% of holiday dining foot traffic. And those visits to Waffle House, IHOP and Denny’s were longer than typical dining times. Some 17.3% of Christmas Day Waffle House visits lasted more than one hour, as compared to 14.7% on an average day in 2023. IHOP and Denny’s also saw increases in “dwell time.”



Coming in behind the 24/7 restaurants was Red Lobster with just 4.9% of Dec. 25 dining foot traffic. Following Red Lobster were Applebee’s, Black Bear Diner, Golden Corral and TGI Fridays, which each received between 2% and 3% of Christmas day visits.

Regional chains brought in holiday diners in some states. In Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, known for its baked goods, proved popular. In Oregon, Shari’s, a chain with approximating 80 locations in the west, attracted the most holiday visits.

Overall the West Coast had the most Christmas Day diners. Coast states saw Christmas Day foot traffic fall just 33.8% compared to the Q4 2023 daily average. That was significantly better than the national average of 59.7%, and the region with the biggest fall, New England, where visits were down 83.3%.

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