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Restaurants to draw one-third of Americans over Labor Day weekend

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Labor Day seems to make Americans hungry -- more than one-third will either dine out over the holiday weekend or get takeout or delivery to bring to outdoor festivities, according to new research.

High demand is especially reassuring for East Coast eateries worried that tourists will shun the area in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the National Restaurant Assn. said.

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The group found that a quarter of consumers, many of them middle-aged, will visit a restaurant over the long weekend while 15%, most of them younger, will opt for takeout. For 5%, both options will be a good bet.

Over the summer, 66% of survey respondents said they visited a restaurant while on vacation. Seeking shelter from the heat, 17% of dining patrons said they ate out to help cool down. Special summer deals such as Restaurant Week promotions and happy hours clinched the deal for 12% of consumers.

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-- Tiffany Hsu


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