FORSYTH COUNTY — Thanksgiving can be a busy day for families with travel, get-togethers and cooking. And for local food businesses, the holiday is one of their busiest days of the year.
Deana Fagan, co-owner of Fagan’s Biscuit Baron on Peachtree Parkway, said that she has been serving Thanksgiving food for a week, and will be through today. She said she expects about 100 families to order Thanksgiving meals from the business.
“We actually started last week,” she said. “We had tons of corporate caterings, and then this week is mostly our families coming to pick up packages.
“We have the packages online that they can order online or call and put the orders in, and we’re available for them to pick it up [today] from noon to 3 p.m.”
Fagan said that customers who ordered from the restaurant would be getting a traditional meal of turkey and cornbread dressing, sides like sweat potato soufflé and home-grown vegetables. There are also homemade desserts from a family recipe.
“Southern cooking, there’s an art to it,” she said. “And there’s lots of techniques that a lot of folks, especially those that have moved into the area, are not familiar with, and they have a great appreciation for Southern cooking.”
Though Fagan’ business won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day, other restaurants will. For Cracker Barrel on Buford Highway in Cumming, the holiday is big.
“For this store, it’s the busiest day of the year,” said Solomon Griffin, general manager. “[We’ll be serving] close to 2,000 people.”
Griffin said the store will be open on its regular schedule and will have most of its normal menu items, but will also feature a traditional Thanksgiving spread. He said he thinks it attracts customers since it is cheaper and less stressful than a homemade meal.
“It’s much easier than cooking for yourself, because $10.99 is a good deal to get a slice of pie, a beverage and your whole turkey dinner,” he said. “We handle all the cleanup. We handle all the hassle. All you got to do is come hang out with us, and everything will be nice and smooth for you. ”
Of course, many people will be having traditional holiday meals they make themselves. And that means actually buying food.
According to Brenda Reid, a spokeswoman for Publix, local grocery stores started Thanksgiving preparations in 2013.
“Planning for Thanksgiving starts the one year out for Publix,” she wrote in an email. “We source and price items that our customers want so that we will have the quantities they need leading up to the holiday.
“Our warehouse in Gwinnett [County] is prepared by having the inventory needed to keep the stores well stocked.”
Reid noted that Publix stores will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but the weeks leading up to the holiday were incredibly busy and running out of food for most families was “rarely an option.”
“Many customers shop two or three weeks in advance to begin stocking up for the holiday,” she said. “It’s often convenient to get the non-perishables out of the way early.
“Wednesday before Thanksgiving at Publix is non-stop with customers wanting the freshest products or last-minute additions.”