What Thanksgiving looks like in a pandemic: Cornish hens and takeout

This year, instead of the traditional turkey, Nicole Beckler’s Thanksgiving Table will include two Cornish chickens: the perfect-sized bird for dinner for two.

A travel agent based in Florida, Beckler spoiled his dinner after deciding to fly to New Jersey to vacation with his family.

“Since New Jersey is like closing again, I thought it best to stay here,” she said.

Like Beckler, many Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving differently this year. Health experts have warned against traveling home or gathering in large groups as the number of new Kovid-19 cases exploded in the US. But the celebration of thanksgiving – even in a different way – can also lift spirits after a stressful year.

Barbara Fiese, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, said, “Giving gratitude even in small ways can reduce stress and provide hope for the future.”

Kroger’s internal data science and analytics firm found that 43% of shoppers only plan to spend a vacation with their immediate family. Retailers such as Walmart-owned Sam’s Club have responded by stocking small turkeys and shrinking their package of yeast rolls.

The quarrelsome restaurants break the tradition as an opportunity to attract customers who don’t want to labor for a party too small for turkey, stuffing, and all the side dishes.

Bayan Ko, a Chicago restaurant that fuses Cuban and Filipino food, is among the first to sell a Thanksgiving feast. For $ 195, customers will receive a restaurant takeover on holiday meals, including three types of meat, four side dishes, and goose for dessert.

Thanksgiving meals prepared by restaurants do not come cheap, especially when compared with the average cost of preparing meals at home. This year, according to estimates by the American Farm Bureau Federation, a thanksgiving dinner for 10 people costs an average of $ 46.90 when the ingredients are purchased at the grocery store. But customers want to reduce the stress of cooking the turkey, as well as support local businesses.

“We’re having fun, so it’s also resurrecting our spirits,” said Bayan Co-Owner Racquel Quadreni.

According to Quadreni, the restaurant sold out of its Thanksgiving package, with regular customers going for it.

“We’re making what we make in a day every week, because the cases of Kovid have become worse in Illinois,” he said.

As cases of Kovid in Chicago have increased in recent weeks, Quadreni estimates its sales have been cut in half. City officials announced indoor food once again in late October, soon after the state sued. Bayan Ko never opened its indoor dining room in the summer nor chose to pull in customers in its outdoor courtyard.

The summit, Summit, New Jersey, has been cautioning in light of the recent increase in cases. Thanksgiving comes a week after the restaurant was chosen to postpone both indoor and outdoor dining. Instead, it is focusing on its grab-and-go business, which includes meal packages already prepared for the holidays.

The restaurant’s holiday package began with this year’s Mother’s Day Bundle and will continue with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Owner Dylan Baker said about 200 thanksgiving dinners will be prepared by Summit House.

And restaurants that have been selling Thanksgiving dinner for years, slow kitchens mean they can take more orders than usual.

Black-eyed Sally in Hartford, Connecticut, has been offering a Cajun-fried turkey dinner for more than 15 years. This year, the restaurant cut its turkey in half or a third in response to consumers looking for small meals. Vrano said they cut their orders this year, which is 50% higher than its normal number.

Black-Eyed Sally owner James Varano said, “Since the business has been so terrible, it’s good to know at least this week that we’re going to have some sales on the register with the holiday taking.”

And restaurants are moving ahead for the next holiday to provide another boost in sales. Black-eyed Sally and Summit House will have a Christmas dinner. The summit house will also offer a major rib package throughout December. Bayan Ko plans to make a bundle for the new year and is weighing in for Christmas.


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