Take-out or Dine-In on Thanksgiving

More families leaving Thanksgiving cooking to someone else

By Scott Friedman
|  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 6:48 PM CDT
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Eating Out for Thanksgiving

larryhalff/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Many families are outsourcing the Thanksgiving menu.

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Eating Out for Thanksgiving

Local restaurants report reservations are up for Thanksgiving dinner, and places that sell prepared meals are booked solid with orders.
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Thanksgiving traditions are changing as more families eat out, or pick up at least part of their Thanksgiving dinner. 

The National Restaurant Association estimates 1 in 10 Americans will eat at a restaurant on Thursday, and more than half will pick up at least some part of the meal already made.

At the Market Street Store in Colleyville, the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for sales of prepared meals.  This year sales are up 15 percent over last year. 

The store boxes up the turkey, and everything that goes with it, and customers can pick it up curbside.

Market Street customer Tiffany Lloyd said she decided to try it for the first time this year.

 "Because my husband doesn't want me getting up at the crack of dawn, and he thinks the turkey's too dry every year, so he wanted me to order it," she said.

Store manager Mary MacDowell said customers are looking to save time and avoid stress. 

"Turkey is very intimidating to a lot of people, they're not quite sure of the cooking time or how to cook it," MacDowell said.

Restaurants also report Thanksgiving reservations are up.  At Ferre' in Fort Worth, restaurant manager Luis Rojas said business has tripled in the three years the restaurant has served Thanksgiving dinner. 

"We'll do the dishes, you don't have anything to worry about, Rojas said.

Ferre' will serve all the Thanksgiving favorites along with some twists, like pumpkin bread pudding.  Rojas said customers can actually save money eating out when you consider the cost of cooking a turkey and all of the fixings.

"Convenience is one thing, but everyone's watching their pocket books, they're looking at the bottom line," Rojas said.

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