DANVILLE (WSLS 10) – For some Southside residents, dining out on Thanksgiving has become a tradition.
“After awhile, you just kind of get to a place where you can’t do all of the things that you used to do. This way, we can all get together as a family,” said Jean Santerre, who was eating at Mary’s Diner with her family.
The diner’s owner, Jimmy Farlow, said Thanksgiving day is about three times as busy as a normal day.
“We will probably feed somewhere around 500-600 people in house and then we are sending out over a hundred whole turkeys, turkey breasts, and miscellaneous orders to to-go customers,” Farlow explained.
He believes money is a big reason more and more people are dining out or taking out.
“It’s just more cost-effective to get just what you want for lunch instead of a whole big turkey where you’re eating leftovers for a week,” said Farlow.
Some residents said they like dining out because it’s easier and they can still eat most of the food they would eat if they cooked a Thanksgiving meal themselves.
“Honestly, I think we just got really lazy this time of year,” said Caleb Boythress as he dined with his family at the restaurant.
Derrick Walls got his Thanksgiving meal to go and said the food at the diner is simply too good to not have for Thanksgiving.
“This is the best place to get that at-home feeling, especially with some great cooking,” Walls said, smiling. “That’s why I came here today.”
Having less to clean up after the meal is over is also motivation for taking out rather than cooking a Thanksgiving meal himself.
“All I have to do is throw away the containers. So, that’s good,” Walls said.
But even though getting your Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant may be non-traditional, some who do haven’t totally given up on tradition.
“When we leave here, we’ll go to our house and have our family time. So, it’s been wonderful,” Santerre said.
According to the National Restaurant Association, one in 10 consumers will dine out for Thanksgiving and one in 20 will order take out.