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  • M. Villarreal


It’s almost turkey time and, after hunkering down for the holidays in 2020, many families are, once again, gathering for a feast and celebration of blessings and gratitude. So much has changed since last November, and this ever-favorite holiday is already shaping up to be much different in 2021, from making travel arrangements and turkey orders to taking the extended family for a nice holiday meal out.

Yes, you heard that right! Restaurants are preparing for a busy Thanksgiving as this will be the first year to possibly see large numbers of customers back at their tables for this food-filled get-together. And, if you, like many other American families, are looking to gather outside your single household bubble this year, it’s nice to know that you’ve got options!

Turning off the stove

Thanksgiving weekends used to be a slow time for restaurants. However, the world has changed since then. Ditching the dishes on Turkey Day is slowly turning into an annual tradition for a large number of Americans and families

, and what used to be a quiet day for the industry is now one of the most revenue-generating Thursdays of the year.

After all, preparing a whole Thanksgiving meal at home can be a stressful affair. Running to the grocery store, waiting for the turkey to thaw, running to the grocery store again, whipping up your casserole recipes, mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving salads, and all your other desserts and pies, and then washing the mountain of dirty dishes after a meal that only takes minutes to consume? That sure sounds like a lot of hassle. No wonder that, for so many, a nice meal out sounds much more appetizing than a day in the kitchen! Plus, not everyone has a fantastic chef in their family – and one who’s eager to spend the entire day basting a turkey and prepping their extensive Thanksgiving menu.

Convenience is not the only reason, though. After a long year of sacrifice, social distancing efforts, and skyrocketing stress, America is itching for the return to normalcy. For many families, this might mean turning off the stove in favor of more quality time spent with loved ones. As a result, many are turning to restaurants for their Thanksgiving meal – be it for their curbside and delivery options, or eating out, and even leaving cleanup for someone else! If this sounds anything like your family, you may be wondering, “Do restaurants close on Thanksgiving?”

Restaurants are open for business

Last year’s situation demanded that restaurants either close entirely or get creative. And although hammered by social distancing restrictions and a drop in dining out, many businesses were able to make the best of it by offering a wide range of Thanksgiving meal options for carryout and delivery. “Thanksgiving To Go” menus remain a popular choice still. Only this November, with vaccines mandated for on-site indoor dining, it’s possible to enjoy this all-important feast day at a restaurant table, and we’ve got that much more to be grateful for. The general public is more and more comfortable dining in public places day by day. In turn, restaurants and commercial kitchens everywhere are already seeing an increase in inquiries and table reservations for this Thanksgiving.

Still, that is not to say that there won’t still be a high number of restaurants that will remain closed for business on Turkey Day, primarily due to social distancing efforts, staffing shortages, and financial strain instigated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Other restaurants are getting ready for this busy holiday weekend and have merely altered their hours. So be sure to contact your desired local restaurant ahead of time and check:

● whether their dining room will be open,

● what their hours will be during the holiday,

● and if vaccination cards will be checked.

Preparations are underway

Few industries have felt the impact of the COVID-19 more than the restaurant industry. For this reason, quality customer experience is now more important than ever.

The pandemic forced a reevaluation of what customer care means and restaurants to adapt to changing market trends. People are eager to leave the house and enjoy a delicious meal out. So, those who have chosen to keep their dining rooms open on that day are doing everything in their power to ensure everything operates smoothly when the Thanksgiving Eve rush picks up. One of the core principles that makes one business more fruitful than another nowadays is the ability to successfully keep a real-time pulse on fluctuating customer needs and preferences and rapidly innovate to reimagine customer experience for a post-pandemic world. This is the best way to provide the best – and safest – experience in their restaurant. And what better way to welcome the guests back at the dinner tables?

In the hospitality industry, it’s all about the experience

Customers walk in through a restaurant door with very high expectations. Besides food quality and good value for money, they’re also looking for:

A good ambiance. A gorgeous interior with updated, comfy furniture and an ambiance that their customers will want to come back to. If there’s a need for packing, moving, and storing furniture pieces during renovation, the moving crew at can advise you on how to do it safely and effectively.

The friendliness of the staff. 89% of patrons won’t return to a restaurant if they receive poor customer service. When the staff is happy, it shows – it keeps customers happy and coming back.

The overall cleanliness. Enforcing proper food hygiene rules such as individual hygiene, commercial kitchen cleaning daily, regular deep cleaning by professional restaurant kitchen cleaners, proper waste management, etc., are of the highest importance if restaurants want to create a safe environment for both their employees and customers.

These are the basic things customers look for as they make reservations for their Thanksgiving outing. Additionally, things like auditing and updating the restaurant menu regularly, personalizing the customer experience, and implementing a loyalty program make for an even better experience.

Join the party after your mid-day nap

Yes, restaurants are preparing for a busy Thanksgiving this year. But it’s the constant effort, innovation, and creativity that drives traffic to their doors not only that day but the rest of the holiday season as well, as it shows how they are rising to the challenges of the pandemic.

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