Hosting a dinner at home more stressful than catching a flight or dropping your phone, survey finds

A new survey has found hosting a dinner at home is more stressful than catching a plane right before the gate closes, dropping your phone and even trying to pass the SATs. A poll of 2,000 US adults who celebrate Easter found that 78% believe hosting a large dinner in their homes is stressful and 59% find the holiday itself to be stressful. Commissioned by The Honey Baked Ham Company and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed the average person has had five large dinners hosted at home in the past 12 months. Those large dinners were defined by respondents as being any meal that celebrates a big life event (22%), having a lot of family over (21%) and having guests over in general (19%). When planning a large dinner, hosts worry the most about how much food they need to prepare (41%), how clean their home is (40%), figuring out how much time they need to prepare or cook food (40%) and if guests will like the food (39%). For the average host, planning dinners starts seven days in advance, and food shopping starts six days in advance. And shopping for Easter dinners or lunch stresses out 60% of respondents. Nearly half of those surveyed (48%) are planning to host people at their homes this Easter weekend, with an average of five guests at their gatherings. And despite 73% who believe the holiday should be as “stress-free” as possible, it’s a struggle for 74% who claim it is challenging to find what they need when food shopping. Aside from shopping, Easter hosts are also banking on additional challenges during meal preparation: welcoming guests while prepping food (19%), time management (17%) and cleaning the kitchen (15%). “Spending time with your family and friends for a holiday shouldn’t be stressful,” said Tripp McLaughlin, Chief Marketing Officer at The Honey Baked Ham Company. “Sharing a meal with loved ones should be a joyful time. Our advice for Easter hosts is this: consider options like pre-cooked and sliced proteins or delicious easy-to-serve sides that help ease the stress of planning and prepping.” The survey also revealed 59% of respondents find grocery shopping, in general, to be stressful. For 80%, it’s even more stressful if they have to shop in advance of hosting. Forty-two percent were found to spend more time grocery shopping today than they did five years ago. Each week, the average person spends 41 minutes shopping for groceries from a single store. When hosting, people tend to spend even more time in the store, averaging 51 minutes per trip. And for 67%, one store isn’t enough — they “always” or “often” have to shop at multiple stores in order to find their weekly groceries. The average shopper has to hit three different stores to get what they need. “Whether it be for Easter Sunday or any gathering with friends and family, grocery shopping should be lower on your list of concerns,” continued McLaughlin. “This research reinforces our mission of providing quality and convenient meal solutions for gatherings of any size.” TOP 5 THINGS LESS STRESSFUL THAN HOSTING DINNER Catching a plane before the gate closes - 49% Dropping a phone - 48% Passing SATs - 44% Leaving your phone at home - 43% Spilling a drink on a white shirt - 43% TOP 5 THINGS DINNER HOSTS STRESS OVER How much food to prepare - 41% How clean their home is - 40% Figuring out how long it will take to prepare or cook food - 40% If guests will like the food - 39% If they have enough food - 37% Survey methodology: This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate Easter was commissioned by The Honey Baked Ham Company between February 17 and February 22, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).