12 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 Easter 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.
12. Qdoba Mexican Eats
Ah, the perfect way to start the list. A Mexican family takeout meal! Qdoba’s are 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.
*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.
11. 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
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.
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
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.
Kentucky Fried Chicken comes in buckets, and what more could you want for a fast, family takeout meal? Their 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
Pizza Hut is basically the OG family meal pizza joint. All of the restaurant's pizzas are a good value for how many slices you get, but with their family meal deals, you can get some extras as part of the package.
Their dinner box includes a medium one-topping pizza, breadsticks and 10 cinnamon sticks for dessert. Check out their full menu for more options.
5. 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!
In 2020, Wendy’s was late to the family meal deal game, but it was worth the wait. They now offer 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
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?
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!
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 their 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.