Restaurants: Here’s Your Pre-Game Plan for Thanksgiving Week

Nov 08, 2023

Last-minute preparations for Thanksgiving meal service for restaurant owners can be hectic, but with the right plan and quick thinking, you can ensure a successful and memorable meal for your guests. Here’s a checklist to help you get organized:


Review Your Menu: Ensure you have all the ingredients and dishes ready. Check that you have enough portions for your expected number of guests. It’s not just turkey, ham and all the traditional fixings! Get creative and provide some delicious and unique limited-time offerings, or put a twist on classic Thanksgiving favorites. Firehouse Subs rolled out their Thanksgiving Turkey Sub, filled with turkey breast, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo. Cracker Barrell is offering Cinnamon Roll Pies on their catering menu this season.


Promotion is Key: Promote specials on your menu and your website and spread the word on social media.


Staffing: Ensure you have enough staff scheduled for the day. Confirm they are well-informed and trained in their roles and responsibilities—a rundown of the basics as a refresher is a great idea!


Inventory Check: Verify you have enough stock of essential ingredients and beverages. Make a last-minute run to the store if necessary.


Decorations: Suitably decorate the restaurant for the occasion. This may include table settings, fall-themed decor, and candles.


Table Reservations: Double-check your reservation system to ensure you have an accurate count of your expected guests.


Prep Work: Complete as much food prep work as possible in advance. Chop vegetables, marinate meat, and make sauces.


Wine and Beverage Service: Ensure your wine and beverage service is on point. Offer wine pairings or unique Thanksgiving cocktails or mocktails.


Takeout and Delivery: Confirm that processes are well-organized and staffed if you offer takeout or delivery.


Finally, stay calm and flexible. Things may not go as planned, but a positive attitude and quick problem-solving can make a significant difference.