25 Best Takeout Chains for Family Meals
We’re all for cooking healthy meals, but can we be honest? No one except that ultra-crunchy mom who does daily yoga and feeds her kids homemade quinoa bites instead of Goldfish actually has the time or energy to cook all the time. That’s where takeout comes in handy.
Whether it’s for family movie night, a last-minute Father's Day or Thanksgiving spread, or just the end of a long Tuesday, your family dinner can be ready in minutes at one of these takeout chains across the U.S. — all of which offer family meal deals that are easy on the wallet.
25. Outback Steakhouse
When Outback Steakhouse was founded: 1987
Original headquarter location: Tampa, Florida
How many Outback Steakhouse locations there are today: Over 1,000 across 23 countries
Bottom Line: Outback Steakhouse
Outback is a good place to go when you're really, really hungry. It's technically a steakhouse, but the popular chain has tons of feel-good classics, like homestyle mashed potatoes, steakhouse mac & cheese and mile-high burgers.
The family meal options vary by location, but the party platters are universal. Get a chicken tender platter for just $29.99, three racks of ribs for $45.99 or spicy wings for $34.99. There are also salads big enough to share, plus sides of loaded mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Food's up.
*Note: Our ranking came from a combination of Restaurant Business Online's Top 500 report, the quality of the restaurants' family meal offerings and our editorial staff's personal opinion.
24. BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse
When BJ's was founded: 1978
Original headquarter location: Santa Ana, California
How many BJ's locations there are today: 211 across 29 states
Bottom Line: BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse
BJ's family meals are what you order to impress your in-laws. There's steak. There's ribs. There's salmon. There's chicken. Did we mention tri-tip? And pizza family meals? Oy vey!
Each traditional bundle includes two family-sized sides and a family-sized salad while the pizza dinners include salad and a side of garlic knots. Every meal is made to feed a family of four to six, and they all look incredible.
23. Panda Express
When Panda Express was founded: 1983
Original headquarter location: Glendale, California
How many Panda Express locations there are today: Over 2,300
Bottom Line: Panda Express
Panda Express isn't known for its family meal deals, but it does occasionally offer exceptional bundles. It recently offered Family Meals, including two large sides and three large entrees for $29, but only if you ordered through the Panda Express app for delivery. No entrees or sides are off-limits!
Always check the app for current deals, but if there aren't any running, Panda's generous portions make this an affordable place for family takeout any day of the week.
22. TGI Friday's
When TGI Friday's was founded: March 15, 1965
Original headquarter location: New York, New York
How many TGI Friday's locations there are today: 869 locations across 55 countries
Bottom Line: TGI Friday's
TGI Fridays Family Meal Bundles are on the high end of the price scale, but the quality is worth the splurge. Each meal feeds a family of four to six, and there are plenty of options.
Try whiskey-glazed ribs, a pasta bundle, a fried chicken and shrimp bundle ... you name it! The family meal menu is one of the most diverse we've seen, so odds are good that you'll find something to make every member of the family happy. Each bundle comes with sides, but if you'd like to add on some more, seasoned fries or mashed potatoes are only $5. There are also party platters to feed larger groups.
When Wienerschnitzel was founded: 1961
Original headquarter location: Wilmington, California
How many Wienerschnitzel locations there are today: 320 across 11 states
Bottom Line: Wienerschnitzel
Wienerschnitzel is America's go-to takeout place for hot dogs and corn dogs. If you ever forget that hot dogs are a thing, you'll remember as soon as you drive by because that smell is to die for.
As far as family meal deals go, Wienerschnitzel has offerings for families big and small. There are small combos for two and crowd-pleasers that include four of everything: four corn dogs, four hot dogs and four orders of chili cheese fries. Our mouths are watering already.
20. Papa John's Pizza
When Papa John's Pizza was founded: Oct. 2, 1984
Original headquarter location: Jeffersonville, Indiana
How many Papa John's Pizza locations there are today: Over 5,500 across 49 countries
Bottom Line: Papa John's Pizza
Isn't pizza a family meal by default? Papa John's is among America's favorite fast-food pizza joints. Its large pizzas are perfect to share with the fam, and individual locations have family meal deals to share.
For a fun family lunch at the park, pick up some Papadias. They're basically Papa John's version of quesadillas, so they're easy to take to a picnic. The classic pizza menu is perfect for movie night, and you can pair your extra-large with breadsticks, garlic knots or jalapeño poppers if you're brave. Don't forget the dipping sauce and wings!
19. Del Taco
When Del Taco was founded: Sept. 16, 1964
Original headquarter location: Yermo, California
How many Del Taco locations there are today: 550 locations across 14 states
Bottom Line: Del Taco
If ultra-cheap Mexican food is what you're looking for, look no further. Del Taco is nothing fancy, but the crispy tacos are addictive and insanely inexpensive.
Del Taco doesn't have a designated family meal, but it does have fiesta packs. Same thing, really. Fiesta packs include six tacos and six bean and cheese burritos. The price varies by location, but they're pretty cheap everywhere. Grab two if you're extra hungry, or throw in some queso-loaded fries and some churros for dessert.
18. Jack in the Box
When Jack in the Box was founded: Feb. 21, 1951
Original headquarter location: San Diego, California
How many Jack in the Box locations there are today: 2,228 across 21 states
Bottom Line: Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box is one of the more fast-foodish options on this list. If you're in the mood for tacos, burgers, fries and other American classics, Jack's is where it's at. The food is good, and it's cheap.
That said, meal deals vary by location. Where it's available, meal bundles typically feed a family of four and range from $20 to $26. If a bundle isn't available near you, it's cheap enough that you can design your own family meal from the menu in a flash.
When Arby's was founded: July 23, 1964
Original headquarter location: Boardman Township, Ohio
How many Arby's locations there are today: Over 3,400 across eight countries
Bottom Line: Arby's
Arby's is known for its stacked roast beef sandwiches. In fact, it's where its name originated. Arby's sounds like the acronym "RB," short for roast beef. The food chain's sandwiches go the extra mile in the meat department, and its sides are delicious, too!
Arby's isn't the most transparent when it comes to its family meal deals. The chain periodically offers drive-thru deals, but its exact offerings vary by location, and you can't see what they are unless you sign up for its email list. Who's doing that? Regardless, most of its sandwiches are affordable, and the portions are huge. Order a couple of sandwiches and mix and match sides, like loaded fries and mozzarella sticks, and make a family meal of your own.
When IHOP was founded: July 7, 1958
Original headquarter location: Burbank, California
How many IHOP locations there are today: 1,841 across 11 countries
Bottom Line: IHOP
Breakfast often gets overlooked as a great opportunity for affordable and delicious takeout. IHOP is certainly touted as one of the best places to enjoy the most important meal of the day, so much so that the restaurant makes it available morning, noon and night. Speaking of group meals though, IHOP's classic American-style breakfasts fit for a family are where it’s at.
IHOP offers several family meals, the most popular being the Breakfast Family Feast with either pancakes or waffles. This combo feeds four and consists of scrambled eggs, hash browns, hickory-smoked bacon strips, pork sausage links and eight pancakes or waffles. You can get all of this goodness for $29.99.
15. Ono Hawaiian BBQ
When Ono Hawaiian BBQ was founded: 2002
Original headquarter location: Diamond Bar, California
How many Ono Hawaiian BBQ locations there are today: Around 100
Bottom Line: Ono Hawaiian BBQ
Who doesn’t love the flavor of oceanside and island-bound barbeque? Hawaiian Barbeque is a great opportunity to try something new without emptying your wallet. While the chain is regionally limited, those who live nearby a location can enjoy great Hawaiian flavors, especially through its family group meals.
Hawaiian BBQ’s specialty is everything from teriyaki chicken and spam musubi to barbecue beef and short ribs, so its Ono Family Meal is sure to please just about anyone in the family. The family meal feeds about four people and includes three proteins of your choice (BBQ chicken, chicken katsu, BBQ beef, white fish, kalua pork or fire chicken) as well as rice, macaroni salad and steamed vegetables. Certain upgrades for meat can be added like crispy shrimp or short ribs, but overall the meal is priced at $46.99.
14. Taco Bell
When Taco Bell was founded: March 21, 1962
Original headquarter location: San Bernardino, California
How many Taco Bell locations there are today: Over 6,000 across 26 countries
Bottom Line: Taco Bell
Ah, yet another Mexican takeout favorite, Taco Bell is probably the most well-known and most prominent Mexican fast-food spot on this list. Of course, Taco Bell is a bit more Tex-Mex than other places we've mentioned, but that’s what gives it a unique flair. While it might not be the most "authentic," Taco Bell shines when it comes to novel creations based on the classics that are still affordable and delicious.
Taco Bell has a variety of group deals known as "Party Packs." Its taco and burrito cravings pack includes four crunchy tacos and four beefy five-layer burritos for $10. The nachos party pack is a fully customizable spread, which has seasoned beef, guacamole, beans, nacho cheese, jalapeno peppers, sour cream and tomatoes. Depending on your upgrades, the starting price for the nachos platter is $9.99. Last, but certainly not least is the taco party pack for $13.99, which includes 12 crunchy tacos with the option to customize each half of the pack (six tacos each).
13. El Pollo Loco
When El Pollo Loco was founded: Jan. 6, 1975
Original headquarter location: Guasave, Mexico
How many El Pollo Loco locations there are today: 489 across six states, plus more than 50 in Mexico
Bottom Line: El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco, where fresh herbs and tangy seasoning meets high-quality chicken. This fast-food restaurant with a healthy twist isn’t available to everyone nationally, but it’s worth stopping for when you spot one. A perfect mix of authentic Mexican flavors with an affordable price tag, its variety of special deals definitely helps its appeal.
Its Complete Family Combo for $31.48 consists of eight pieces of leg and thigh meat, six soft tacos, one house salad and four churros. If you’re in the mood for just chicken, though, options for chicken deals range from eight to 16 pieces with three sides, tortillas for some creative taco shenanigans and plenty of salsa for $34.29.
12. Qdoba Mexican Eats
When Qdoba Mexican Eats was founded: 1995
Original headquarter location: Denver, Colorado
How many Qdoba Mexican Eats locations there are today: 751 across 45 states
Bottom Line: Qdoba Mexican Eats
Qdoba’s are also a little harder to find than some of the other restaurants we’ve included, but if there’s one in your area, it’s worth trying out.
Qdoba’s Family Meal Deal is essentially taco night minus the cooking. It comes with black beans, cilantro-lime rice, grilled chicken or steak, pico de gallo, salsa verde, shredded cheese, tortillas and tortilla chips. Last but not least, it comes with Qdoba's signature three-cheese queso. It’s a little pricier if you choose the steak, but it’s still under $40 to feed the whole fam. Check out the full menu before you order.
11. Red Lobster
When Red Lobster was founded: March 22, 1968
Original headquarter location: Lakeland, Florida
How many Red Lobster locations there are today: 719 across 13 countries
Bottom Line: Red Lobster
Red Lobster seems like more of a dine-in place, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of family takeout meals on the menu that you can order for pickup or delivery. Create your own family feast that includes soup, three seafood favorites, two family-style sides and 12 biscuits. The standard family feast serves up to six. Upgrade to the Ultimate Feast for lobster tails, snow crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi and cornflake-crusted shrimp.
Red Lobster doesn’t skimp when it comes to dessert either. There’s vanilla bean cheesecake, key lime pie and triple chocolate brownies to add a sweet finish to your family takeout meal.
10. Little Caesars
When Little Caesars was founded: May 8, 1959
Original headquarter location: Garden City, Michigan
How many Little Caesars locations there are today: 5,463 across 27 countries
Bottom Line: Little Caesars
Is it the best pizza in the world? No. It’s almost more like bread than pizza, but as far as family meals go, it doesn’t get much more budget-friendly than this. The thin crust pizza is only $6.49, and you can order it for contactless delivery for extra safety.
The $10.99 meal deal includes a large thin crust pizza, breadsticks, marinara sauce and a 2-liter Pepsi. If that’s not enough for your entire fam, just add on another pizza.
When Popeyes was founded: June 12, 1972
Original headquarter location: New Orleans, Louisiana
How many Popeyes locations there are today: 3,705 across 30 countries
Bottom Line: Popeyes
Popeyes has some pretty epic deals when it comes to chicken. The 16 Tenders Family meal includes two large sides and five biscuits. There’s also a 12 Piece Family Meal option and a 2 Can Dine option for smaller families, plus a family sandwich bundle and a larger family feast.
The varied menu also includes impressively addictive popcorn shrimp. Meals at Popeyes are pricier than, say, a McDonald’s, but they’re worth it.
8. Olive Garden
When Olive Garden was founded: Dec. 13, 1982
Original headquarter location: Orlando, Florida
How many Olive Garden locations there are today: Over 900 across eight countries
Bottom Line: Olive Garden
Family takeout meals don’t have to be fast food. Olive Garden offers lasagna, breadsticks and a house salad — enough to serve a family of eight! If you have a smaller family, you won’t regret having leftovers. Trust us.
Olive Garden has plenty of other incredibly tasty pasta dishes on its menu, too, so consider adding another entree to your order for some variety.
When KFC was founded: Sept. 24, 1952
Original headquarter location: North Corbin, Kentucky
How many KFC locations there are today: Over 24,000 outlets across 145 countries
Bottom Line: KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken comes in buckets, and what more could you want for a fast, family takeout meal? The standard Bucket Meal comes with up to 16 pieces of chicken, a large side and biscuits, but there’s also a massive 50-piece chicken pack big enough to feed an entire soccer team.
KFC also has amazing mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and — wait for it — the just-added fries to the menu.
6. Pizza Hut
When Pizza Hut was founded: June 15, 1958
Original headquarter location: Wichita, Kansas
How many Pizza Hut locations there are today: 18,703 across over 100 countries
Bottom Line: Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is the original family meal pizza joint. All of the restaurant's pizzas are a good value for how many slices you get, but with tje family meal deals, you can get some extras as part of the package.
The dinner box includes a medium one-topping pizza, breadsticks and 10 cinnamon sticks for dessert. Check out the full menu for more options.
5. Panera Bread
When Panera Bread was founded: 1987
Original headquarter location: Kirkwood, Missouri
How many Panera Bread locations there are today: 2171 across the U.S. and Canada
Bottom Line: Panera Bread
Panera is the best family takeout restaurant for sandwich lovers by far. A bakery at heart, Panera’s sandwiches are delish with a capital D. Options include the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Panini Melt and the Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich.
Panera's family pack lets diners choose two adult sandwiches, two kid sandwiches, a salad and a family-sized order of mac and cheese. Speaking of the mac and cheese, it’s mouthwateringly amazing. There’s some flatbread pizza meal as well if you’re more in the mood for pizza. Don’t forget to pick up some fresh bread or a pastry on your way out!
When Wendy’s was founded: Nov. 15, 1969
Original headquarter location: Columbus, Ohio
How many Wendy’s locations there are today: 6,500 across 29 countries
Bottom Line: Wendy’s
In 2020, Wendy’s was late to the family meal deal game, but it was worth the wait. The fast-food chain now offers a family bundle with four burgers and four orders of fries for only $10. That bundle includes two Double Stack Sandwiches and two Crispy Chicken Sandwiches, but you can upgrade to Spicy Chicken Sandwiches and two Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers for $5 more.
Add on a family-sized order of nuggets for another $10. If you’re extra hungry, order it all!
3. Burger King
When Burger King was founded: July 23, 1953
Original headquarter location: Jacksonville, Florida
How many Burger King locations there are today: 18,700 in over 100 countries
Bottom Line: Burger King
We know that Wendy's fans will debate us for putting Burger King higher on this list, but Burger King’s $12.99 Family Bundle is where it’s at. For that price, you can take home three cheeseburgers, three Whoppers and three small fries. We’d call that a steal.
There’s also an Ultimate Bundle that includes a combination of burgers, nuggets, fries, drinks and cookies for just $25. From Burger King’s online menu, you can also order delivery or pickup online. Movie night, anyone?
When Chick-fil-A was founded: May 23, 1946
Original headquarter location: Hapeville, Georgia
How many Chick-fil-A locations there are today: 2,600 across 47 states, Canada and Puerto Rico
Bottom Line: Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A is one of many chains that released new family meal options in 2020. Diners can essentially build their own family meal, choosing from 30 chicken nuggets, four chicken sandwiches, four sides of mac and cheese and four medium waffle fries. Just add on more sides as needed. Throw in a gallon of freshly brewed iced tea and some chocolate chunk cookies for dessert.
See the menu for more options, including tasty sandwiches and salads. Whatever you do, don’t forget the dipping sauce!
When McDonald’s was founded: April 15, 1955
Original headquarter location: San Bernardino, California
How many McDonald’s locations there are today: Over 38,000 in more than 100 countries
Bottom Line: McDonald’s
McDonald’s is a perpetual family meal classic. Are the nuggets made of real chicken? We’re not entirely sure, but they’re addictive, as are the sinfully salty fries.
Pick up an order of 50 McNuggets, a large order of fries and plenty of dipping sauces. Add some shakes or sides from the menu, and family dinner is a done deal.