The 20 Most Popular Restaurants for Baby Boomers and Seniors

Most people age 55 and older are cutting back, but haven't yet given up eating out altogether

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It is common to cut back on eating out when you retire. Frugal retirees trying to stretch their fixed income are also famous for utilizing early bird specials and senior discounts. But most baby boomers and seniors haven't yet given up eating out altogether.

The typical American age 55 and older dines in a restaurant 51 times a year, or about once a week, according to a survey by the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research released this month. The top restaurant choices are casual dining (27 visits) and fast food chains (15 visits), but baby boomers and seniors also visit cafés and kiosks (6 visits) and fine dining restaurants (3 visits) occasionally. The most popular food choices include American, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Seafood. Here's a look at where baby boomers and seniors are dining out.

The 20 Most Popular Brand-Name Restaurants Among Those Age 55 and Older

  1. Olive Garden
  2. Wendy's
  3. Outback
  4. Red Lobster
  5. Chili's
  6. IHOP
  7. Applebees
  8. KFC
  9. Burger King
  10. Denny's
  11. Baskin Robbins
  12. Taco Bell
  13. Dairy Queen
  14. Macaroni Grill
  15. Panda Express
  16. TGI Friday
  17. McDonald's
  18. Boston Market
  19. Lone Star
  20. Fuddruckers
  21. Source: Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research, 2009.

    The older customers in the survey were also more likely than younger patrons to say they need to call and cancel a reservation if they are not going to be able to make it to the restaurant.

    Tell us, are these among your favorite places to eat or do you prefer local restaurants or eating at home?