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From preschool to college, with the kids heading back to school this month, getting everyone together for a family dinner will be more challenging than ever. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. As a family-owned and operated company, we’re BIG about family dinners at Woody’s Bar-B-Q. Here are just a handful of reasons you should be, too…

  • It’s a Time-Honored Tradition Shared by More than 80% of Americans – COVID-19 and the shutdowns that followed boosted the number of activities family members shared together – and family dinners were included among them. The United States Census Bureau reported that the percentage of parents who shared meals with their children aged 0-17 jumped to 85% in 2020, making it the most common type of parental involvement. Global pandemic aside, since 1998, at least 80% of children ate with their parents often – sometimes 5+ times a week.
  • 3 in 5 Americans Wish They Could Eat with Family Daily – In a 2020 OnePoll survey of 2000 respondents, 49% indicated that having dinner as a family is an “important way to connect.” Another 46% felt that dinnertime is an opportunity to create family memories, and 3 in 5 shared that they wish they could eat with their loved ones every day. If you’re lucky enough to have the ones you love under one roof on a regular basis, you might want to become more intentional about planning mealtimes together.
  • Teens are More Likely to Engage with their Parents – Between teenage angst and the demands of a high school schedule, it’s not uncommon for adolescents to withdraw from other family members. However, Ann Fishel, executive director of the Family Dinner Project, shared during a 2020 interview with Harvard’s Graduate School of Education that – when given a choice to eat alone in front of a screen or dine with family – 80% of kids indicated that they would choose family.
  • Family Meals Present the Ideal Time to Connect with Others and Take a Break – Intentionally allotted time spent away from the “rat race” and with the ones you love is invaluable for all involved – from the kids to the parents – with regard to their physical and mental wellbeing. In a 2022 study of 1000 U.S. adults by the American Heart Association, 91% of parents indicated that their family is less stressed when sharing meals together. What’s more is that 67% of respondents said that sharing a meal reminds them of the importance of connecting with other people, 54% said family meals are a reminder to slow down and take a break, and 59% said they are more likely to make healthier food choices when dining with loved ones.
  • Woody’s Bar-B-Q Makes it Easy to Share a Family Meal – With a family at the heart of our 40+ year company and families at the helm of many of our franchises, we are true champions of the concept of the family dinner. Whether dining around our table during one of our Kids Eat Free Days* or dining around your own with takeout or delivery from one of our locations, we endeavor to take the work out of getting together to break bread. We even feature crowd-pleasing Family Feasts on our menu that showcase family-sized portions of our BBQ pork, BBQ chicken, and spare ribs served with BBQ beans, creamy cole slaw, french fries, fried corn on the cob and garlic toast. If taking dinner to go, you can place your order online through our website or app, call in your order to the Woody’s location near you, or drop by on your way home from work and enjoy a frosty beer or sweet iced tea while we pull your order together. To view our menu and find your Woody’s Bar-B-Q, visit!

From all of us here at Woody’s Bar-B-Q, we wish all of you families out there a happy return to the classroom and a wonderful 2023-2024 school year!

Sources: Parents and Children Interacted More During COVID-19 (

3 in 5 Americans wish they ate with family daily — but don’t: poll (

The Benefit of Family Dinner | Harvard Graduate School of Education

New survey: 91% of parents say their family is less stressed when they eat together | American Heart Association

KB 7/28/23