It was a busy Wednesday morning on the week before Thanksgiving for Tom Meyer, president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group in Washington.
He’s just had a Thanksgiving planning meeting, telling his chefs to be sure to order enough turkey.
“There’s nothing worse than to run out turkey on Thanksgiving,” he says.
That actually happened to Meyer one year.
Clyde’s has been serving Thanksgiving dinner continuously since the ’90s, getting busier every year.
“I would say it’s probably tripled. It’s gone from being not busy to packed,” Meyer says.
Why? We’re all time-strapped.
“We just haven’t been able to pull it together,” says Mary Chapman, senior director of product innovation at Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm. And, yes, her family is going out for Thanksgiving.
But, she says, some consumers are splitting the difference – buying a prepared turkey but making the sides.
“They’re doing some from Grandma’s recipe and some from the Krogers,” Chapman says.
What about Christmas dinner? Nobody wants to cook then, either. But so far, Meyer has refused to open his restaurants on Christmas Day, in spite of growing demand.